Delaying reparations to save money and dehumanising your renters … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and discovers some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartments, fastened them up with power and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish accumulation, and accepted my first renters. I packed the people in, stacked the units, and the profits soon began to pile up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual proprietor. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate administration simulation, since the games exhaust in September. It pays cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild imagination of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy figure, 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 foyer city hall for a metro terminal and wondering whether prominence artwork in the hallway might captivate higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if somewhat depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont miss a daylight 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 good to maintenance all current holders joyous, if you are able. But tying up occupied apartments that have switched grimies is also expensive, this is why it worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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