The purpose of this study was to explore the changes in commercial office occupiers’ preferences in their building choice as a result of a recent natural disaster which triggered policy changes in building safety.
This study follows a qualitative research design comprising semi-structured one-on-one interviews with 24 property professionals (commercial leasing agents and property managers) in Auckland, New Zealand. A thematic analysis was employed for identifying, analysing and reporting themes emerged within data.
Tenants across New Zealand now incorporate earthquake issues in their leasing decisions. Most tenants are familiar with the impending policy changes related to earthquake-prone buildings. The degree to which building standards are incorporated into office occupiers’ choice varies with the size of the organization and their willingness to invest in their Corporate Social Responsibility. A certain level of overreaction was observed in tenants’ behaviour in the face of risk and uncertainty following the earthquakes. However, risk appears to be subsiding and emphasis is placed on availability of space in desirable locations.
I have been doing leases for years and it has never been a problem. … Quite a dramatic change in the attitude of tenants now.