Delaying mends to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landlord and discovers some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt difficult and challenging. I shed up some studio apartments, fixed them up with superpower and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and welcomed my first holders. I carried the person or persons in, stacked the human rights unit, 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 control simulation, since video games liberate in September. It leaves cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild fantasy of owning dimension. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landowners and largest 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 renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to hallway city hall for a metro depot and wondering whether prestige artwork in the hallway might allure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if somewhat depressing exercises. For one thing, its costly to lose tenants. You dont miss a era 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 best to save all current renters glad, if you can. But fixing up occupied apartments that have shifted grimies is too expensive, it was therefore worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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