Delaying fixings to save money and dehumanising your holders … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual proprietor and discovers some fascinating and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartment, robbed them up with superpower and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish accumulation, and greeted 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 proprietor. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate control pretending, since video games release in September. It dedicates cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild imagination of owning dimension. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and larger developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy impression, 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 consultancy firms to foyer city hall for a metro station and wished to know whether prestige artwork in the hallway might lure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interest, if slightly depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose tenants. You dont require 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 continue all current holders glad, if you can. But choosing up occupied apartments that have rotated grimies is likewise expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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