Delaying reparations to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and reads some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartment, secured them up with influence and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collection, and welcomed my first renters. I parcelled the people in, stacked the human rights unit, and the profits soon began to heap up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual proprietor. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate management simulation, since the games secrete in September. It devotes 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 largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy form, 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 obligation before your tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to hallway city hall for a metro terminal and wished to know whether cachet artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interest, if slightly depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont want a daylight to go by without any payment; 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 save all current renters glad, if you are able. But determining up occupied apartments that have grown grimies is also expensive, this is why it worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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