Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Where Have All the Renters Gone?

My little 3/4 sim rental operation at Masocado has been a going concern for over a year now.  For the last five or six months, I've been very happy with my tenants, and my occupancy rate.  We've always had a vacancy or three, but in general, rentals were paying the bulk of the tier fees.

That started to change a few weeks ago.  One by one, tenants began leaving.  Nobody gave a reason, or seemed to be unhappy with me or my management.  Yet one by one, they didn't renew and moved their things out.  Out of fifteen rentals, I now have only four occupied.  The Masocado Resort condominium tower stands almost completely vacant.

I know other landlords are having problems too.  One of my friends who owns 50 or so regions has been cutting back his holdings, and he tells me of others doing the same.

It had to come, of course.  Because of Linden Lab's ill-considered policies of the last three years, there is a huge oversupply of land and an undersupply of regular Second Life users.  There has to be a re-balancing.  But it makes me terribly sad to see our virtual world even emptier than usual.  Everywhere I go, it seems I see empty, torn-up Abandoned mainland areas and empty stores and clubs.

My friends assure me that it will turn around, that SL experiences these up and down waves, and I believe them.  But it is still painful to ride out this downslope, and there is always the thought at the back of one's head, "WILL it turn around this time?"

I feel like closing this entry with the tagline from the Motel 6 commercials -- to any of my readers out there who may find themselves looking for a cozy rental:  We'll leave the light on for you.

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