Delaying restores to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartment, fixed them up with superpower and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and welcomed my first renters. I jam-pack the people in, stacked the units, and the profits soon began to heap up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual landlord. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate handling pretending, since the games exhaust in September. It commits cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild fiction of owning owned. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landlords and larger developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy figure, video games is surprisingly detailed and utterly unsentimental. You begin the game by managing the costs of building infrastructure, and trying to avoid taking on too much bank obligation before your tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to vestibule city hall for a metro terminal and wondering whether prominence artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interest, if slightly depressing assignments. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont crave a epoch to go by without any rent; and you dont want to have to reach into your pocket to refurbish an empty flat to make it rentable again. So its better to maintenance all current tenants happy, if you can. But preparing up occupied apartments that have diverted grimy is too expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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