Delaying mends to save money and dehumanising your renters … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual proprietor and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I hurled up some studio apartments, robbed them up with strength and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collection, and accepted 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 handling simulation, since video games liberate in September. It opens cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild fantasize of owning owned. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and larger developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy appearance, 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 renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to lobby city hall for a metro terminal and wished to know whether standing artwork in the hallway might lure higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing exercises. For one thing, its costly to lose tenants. You dont want a period 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 good to maintain all current holders glad, if you can. But securing up occupied flats that have made grimy is also expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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