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07/20/2008

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Elwood Abernathy

I have a small rental community; I can be considered a "hobbyist" I suppose. Whether I am a "hobbyist" or not depends on what day of the week it is and whether the Lindens and others in the know are calling this a game on that day. I rent houses in order to provide places for new people coming into the game, and those who don't, for whatever reason, have a premium account. I only know what i can observe, and from my observation, things are not good on the mainland, things are close to being terrible. I will not rent for less than cost, but I do have to be full in order to make tier on the land. I keep a sufficient amount of land for my private use, so therefore never make full tier, I don't expect to with the private land I have. In the past two years I have been at occupancy pratically 100% of the time, but this summer is different. I am thinking of cashing out, going basic and finding a place to rez into, just to come inworld to see live music events, discussions and such. Even live music is having a harsh time of it now. I dislike being negative, but this is my observation.

Prokofy Neva

Yes, I think the awful thing we are seeing is that people who have been willing to be buffers in SL -- to take less than tier, or to rent out only part of their sims and keep their own private land are now starting to feel the pain. They were willing not to make a profit; they were willing even to not break even. But if they start to have to pay TOO much, they will simply tier down. That's the message here.

Chav Paderborn

I know nothing about land, having always sold for a loss and bought Lindens to help pay for the replacement land. Is this slump to do with the amount of land that's been added lately? I remember when land was incredibly expensive end of 2006/start of 2007 when there hadn't been new land for ages.

Ciaran Laval

Lower tier, like lower upfront prices, is a double edged sword. Will it encourage more people to "own" land or will it encourage more people to become landlords and then bail at the first sign of trouble, which harms all landlords.

Longevity is really important for landlords. Prok, Desmond, Sarah and Anshe have all been here a long time and the only one I hear bad words spoken about regarding their business is Anshe. I'm not sure whether that's just because she's Anshe to be honest, I doubt she's a bad landlady, if she's even still got a hand on approach that is.

At a time of a lull I've benefited from two directions. One is people who already rent from me telling their friends to contact me. The second is people who have previously rented from me coming back to me. I'm still getting new tenants but it's on a much slower basis than it was.

If you're a newbie landlord you really have to weigh up the pros and cons and be prepared to take a hit, the streets aren't paved with gold.

The land glut will claim more victims before the end of the summer and if Linden Lab start rolling out more sims then the elastic band that holds the world together is really getting close to breaking point for many. I've heard the term "bloodbath" used to explain the amount of well established land owners looking to get out of dodge. Sims are being sold for $450-$500 reliable sources tell me. However people need to hold their nerve.

Finally there's going to be the inevitable openspace crash and that's really going to hurt.

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