Delaying restores to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landlord and hears some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I threw up some studio apartment, hooked them up with strength and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and accepted my first tenants. I carried 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 control simulation, since the games exhaust in September. It throws cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild fantasize of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landowners and largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy form, 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 obligation before your renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to hall city hall for a metro terminal and wondering whether cachet artwork in the hallway might lure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interest, if somewhat depressing exercises. For one thing, its costly to lose renters. You dont require 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 excellent to obstruct all current holders happy, if you can. But securing up occupied apartments that have moved grimies is likewise expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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