Delaying fixings to save money and dehumanising your holders … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and hears some fascinating and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt difficult and challenging. I shed up some studio apartments, hooked them up with ability and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and welcomed my first holders. I jam-pack the people 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 handling pretending, since video games secrete in September. It gives cash-strapped renters like me a chance to indulge the wild imagination of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landlords and largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy illusion, 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 debt before your renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to vestibule city hall for a metro depot and wondering whether statu artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont require a day 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 best to stop all current tenants joyous, if you can. But defining up occupied apartments that have made grimy is likewise expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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