Delaying fixings to save money and dehumanising your holders … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartments, robbed them up with dominance and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collect, and greeted my first holders. I parcelled the people in, stacked the units, and the profits soon began to heap up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual proprietor. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate control pretending, since video games secrete in September. It pays cash-strapped renters like me a chance to gratify the wild fantasy of owning belonging. 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 debt before your renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to hallway city hall for a metro depot and wished to know whether standing artwork in the hallway might captivate higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing readings. For one thing, its costly to lose tenants. You dont crave a day 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 better to hinder all current renters joyous, if you can. But preparing up occupied plains that have rotated grimy is also expensive, it was therefore worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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