Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landlord and hears some fascinating and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt difficult and challenging. I threw up some studio apartment, fixed them up with supremacy and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish accumulation, and welcomed my first holders. 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 simulation, since video games release in September. It holds cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild fantasy of owning owned. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy look, 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 indebtednes before your renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to hall city hall for a metro station and wished to know whether statu artwork in the hallway might lure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some fascinating, if somewhat depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose holders. You dont crave a daylight to go by without any hire; 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 hinder all current renters glad, if you are able. But sterilizing up occupied flats that have changed grimies is likewise expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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