Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your holders … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landlord and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I threw up some studio apartments, hooked them up with superpower and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collecting, and welcomed my first tenants. I jam-pack the people in, stacked the units, 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 the games exhaust in September. It imparts cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild fiction of owning dimension. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world landowners and larger 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 indebtednes before your tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to foyer city hall for a metro depot and wished to know whether prominence artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing lessons. For one thing, its costly to lose holders. You dont crave 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 excellent to hinder all current renters glad, if you are able to. But securing up occupied flats that have turned grimy is likewise expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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