Property in a global-risk society:towards marketing research in the office sector

Guy, Simon and Harris, Robert (1997) Property in a global-risk society:towards marketing research in the office sector. Urban Studies, 34 (1). pp. 125-140. ISSN 0042-0980

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This paper suggests that the current uncertainty hovering over the property industry is not simply the result of an internal economic dynamic, dooming the industry to damaging booms and slumps. Rather, the novel sense of 'risk' colouring contemporary development activities is the consequence of wider cultural, technical and commercial shifts from which property development is not immune. The current supply-oriented interests of property research, predominantly concerned with the collection and analysis of statistical data, are unable to respond to these wider questions. Simply creating more 'data banks' will not help. The paper argues that in order to understand the shifting nature of demand, property research needs to complement econometric modelling with a more occupier-focused 'marketing research'—one that is sensitive to the dynamics of the 'risk society' we now inhabit. Accordingly, the paper provides a detailed account of structured market research, which should form part of a broader property research agenda. In particular, structured demand analysis is shown to provide a framework for understanding the complex dynamics of the demand market, so demonstrating how the supply industry can improve its efficiency. The paper suggests that the scale of the latest property crash offers an opportunity for the industry to improve the efficiency of supply by blending intimate knowledge of changing market demand with established dynamics of provision. Such a research strategy may provide the key to a more stable, mutually profitable property business, appropriate to a rapidly changing world economy of risk.

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Journal Article
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Urban Studies
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18 Aug 2015 10:40
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 01:13