WASHINGTON, DC-Many commercial real estate firms are woefully unprepared for an event that is absolutely sure to happen:  the departure, whether planned or not, of the chief executive. Succession planning, in short, is an area that companies in this sector need to improve, according to a survey by the Urban Land Institute and Russell Reynolds Associates.

The survey found that 89% of senior executives queried do not have adequate CEO succession plans, and nearly one-third do not feel confident that their firm could immediately select a new CEO if necessary, according to the report, “Avoiding Vacancy: Becoming a Succession Leader in the Real Estate Sector.” There are a number of reasons why this is so but they essentially boil down to two factors, ULI Chairman Peter Rummell tells GlobeSt.com: cultural and timing.

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