Delaying mends to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual proprietor and hears some fascinating and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartments, robbed them up with strength and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and welcomed my first holders. I carried the people in, stacked the units, and the profits soon began to pile up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual landlord. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate administration pretending, since the games release in September. It passes cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild imagination of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landlords and larger developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy illusion, the game 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 tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to lobby city hall for a metro station and wondering whether statu artwork in the hallway might lure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing lessons. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont want a date to go by without any lease; 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 maintain all current holders joyous, if you are able. But securing up occupied plains that have changed grimy is too expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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