Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I hurled up some studio apartment, hooked them up with power and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collecting, and welcomed my first holders. I parcelled 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 administration pretending, since the games exhaust in September. It returns cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild fantasy of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and larger 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 holders can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to hall city hall for a metro terminal and wondering whether renown artwork in the hallway might captivate higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interest, if somewhat depressing lessons. For one thing, its costly to lose tenants. You dont crave a daytime 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 better to exclude all current renters glad, if you can. But cooking up occupied plains that have shifted grimy is also expensive, this is why it worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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