PostHeaderIcon Calling All Second Life Estate Idiots...

So many - no, almost all private estates with land for sale or rent are so incredibly under-creative, overpriced and full of horrible builds, it makes me wonder how they actually stay in business.

The mainland land-barons have shifted gears and are ruining the estate business, costing the regular Janes and Johns to spend more money and become increasingly more frustrated. Sometimes SL just totally sucks. As for the land-barons: bonehead fuckwads all, I say.

It used to be that if you wanted to buy a sim, search for someone selling one before buying a shiny new one from Linden Lab. You'll save a little money because they are usually looking to unload it for some reason - usually real life reasons and willing to bargain. The problem comes from all the amateurs trying to start or run sloppy estate empires and thus buying them all up and sucking the pool dry for those of us that just want a little sim we can call our own.

Hence, we are forced to buy a shiny new one from Linden Lab at full price (about $1,800) - and delivery takes longer. [update April, 2008: new Estate Regions will sell for $1000 beginning by the end of April and supposedly be delivered 'immediately'][Update 2: Regions and "open space" sims can be purchased at the online land store for $1000 and $250 respectively and delivered immediately.]

Obviously, (on the mainland,) a few bad apples give the majority a bad name. However, with regard to private estates, it's the other way a round. The majority give the few a bad name. There are some reputable land-barons and land dealers. They do it for the enjoyment of flipping land and playing the real estate game, more for fun than any real life-sustaining profit. Awesome customer service and very personable. I salute you, you know who you are.

Unfortunately, the greedy land-barons, (estate-barons?) always trying to make a quick buck, have decided to follow suit with the Anshe Chung recipe. Buy a private estate, develop it, then rent or sell the land on it at a higher tier than what Linden Lab charges for mainland, covering their own tier costs and reaping profits in the process.

Some of those profits might be a bit over the top, if you ask me, but, I digress.

Now, when I say land-barons, I'm not necessarily referring the the ones we've heard so much heartache about. But rather the amateurs looking to make that fast buck through the private estate (private island or region) business. In other words, the sim owners who buy a sim for the sole purpose to this end. But before the cause, let me go over the result very quickly.

Here's how I reached my epiphany... I am sim-hopping left and right and up and down for private estate land to buy or rent. Holy crappola! I can't believe how many boring, uncreative, downright ugly private sims there are!

Let's start with the fact that most are just big, flat, ugly squares in the middle of the pixelocean. Then, some will add 'canals' to separate the parcels. Can you say 'sand-waste' or 'sand-bar'? Now let's add the fact that most are totally overpriced in weekly and monthly tiers. Then, let's add the fact that many which are already populated somewhat are loaded with horrible, laggy, unsightly builds. It's as though there isn't any management there at all. Might as well just go get land on the mainland.

Anyway - this is what I discovered in my private estate land search... which is really more of a scavenger hunt. If you own or know of a sim where a little loving care was actually put into its design, and reasonable tiers, please let me know. I am still in the market. For a time further anyway. I've now basically decided screw it, I might as well buy a new sim and make it the way I want it to be.

Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let me turn to what started this search to begin with...I already own my own sim. It's a mixed residential/commercial sim. It's about 80% commercial and managing it goes well. Most days it is almost no, or very little lag, except when someone has an event. But that's tolerable and fair. In all, a very pleasant place to be.

Well, there's really no need to have a 'home' in SL, so I didn't bother saving any space for myself there. I also bought the sim from someone else, and it was already established with a few residents, so redeveloping and redesigning the terraform the way I'd really like is out of the question. I simply can't do that to the residents that are already here. It's not right.

I try to be honorable that way.

Besides, the sim supports itself in tier and I'm not out to make a profit. So I'm happy enough with it. My better-half does have a place she rents through another 'Estate Management Company' - but we have decided it's much larger (in prims) than we really need and we'd like to cut down tier costs and reinvest the money elsewhere. So I go land-shopping; sim-hopping.

I do manage to find a wonderful sim designed in a tropical style. The terraforming is very nicely done and the tier rates are reasonable. On top of that, it's a straight rental. L$1 to buy the land and pay the first week's tier fee - done. I'm thinking it's a great find. This land requires membership in a group to use the 'public facilities', so I contact the sim owner, ask him to add me to the group along with my sweetheart. Later, he comes online and does so (we play offline ping-pong over a half-day, overnight).

He welcomes us and, later my better-half comes to see the place and falls in love with it. In my openness, I happen to mention to the sim owner what a wonderful place this is and I'm happy to be there because there isn't any room left on my own sim. He happens to be offline again.

A few hours later... a sudden IM comes through: "You have been ejected from [insert name] group" - whoa!

Huh? What?

No IM from the sim owner, no email, no contact whatsoever.
Must be a mistake.
I send an IM to the sim owner.
No answer - but he's online.

Hmm, let me TP over there so I can find out what's going on... "You are banned from the region" WHAT?

I ask him "Why am I ejected from group and banned? I paid tier"

He finally responds after a long delay with "You have to ask?" I told him of course I have to ask, I totally don't understand. He claims that he will not "allow griefers and poachers to squat" on his sim. I told him I was neither.

I paid tier and I'm on the up and up. I'm not even sure he got that message at all because it wasn't long before I realized I was muted. (It sure would be nice if the IM system would at least let you know when you're muted.)

First, this guy is a complete idiot and amateur. Total fuckwad. As for myself, if you own a sim - I'd love to have you rent land from me. As long as you pay your tier, what difference does it make to me? I don't care. Besides, what's to keep you from creating an alt and renting from me anyway, round-abouting such a dumbfuck policy?

The problem is the amateur idiot assumes people are evil, haters, bad-doers at heart, right off the bat. He's a serious pessimist with serious issues. Personally, I give you the benefit of the doubt and always assume you are a nice, trustworthy person until you give me a reason to believe otherwise. I don't need to act so rudely and take drastic measures to "protect" myself from griefers and the like.

Second, this guy is not only an idiot, he's an idiot asshole. Refused to refund my money. I paid only a week in tier, so I wasn't too worried about it. What burned me more was the whole scenario and his reasoning in it. The sudden rudeness, ejecting and banning without so much as allowing me to at least explain why I wanted to rent the land from him.

We never even met in person!

All communication had been in IM. Eventually, he did finally refund the tier I paid, but only after I reported the incident and sent logs to a well known virtual land flipping blogger about the issue, who loves to blog about these scenarios. I thought 'cool - I get to be a subject on this lady's blog!' ...and I have to admit, I did chuckle about it. But, because he did, in fact eventually refund my money, it's not news any more, so I guess my fifteen minutes of fame was over before it started.

Not only is this sim owner an amateur idiot asshole, but he's a totally childish amateur idiot asshole. Had he simply spent five minutes to allow me to explain why I wanted to rent his land even though I already have a sim, not only would he have a new tenant, but a positive vocal voice for referrals.You see, I don't own a sim to make money and turn it into a business. I'm content with one (I keep my own store there - that's the whole reason for it) - so I'm not in competition with these knuckle-heads (and respectable non-knuckle-heads alike) - so I would have gladly referred friends to his estates and really talked him up good.

But now, not only will he not get that good word-of-mouth (I'm sure he's sold the plot by now) - but now he'll get a bad wrap every time I even speak about a sim owner - any sim owner - under any context. His name and sim name and group name (yes the names) will be spat out like sour milk. (I won't mention any names here, because as it turns out, even though he's a complete amateur and childish asshole at the same time - he did eventually return my money - after arbitration with a third party. And, I'm really not a griefer. So it wouldn't really be justified or serve any purpose to do so.)

Now I also have decided to compete... directly against him. Just out of spite alone. It's become a vendetta now. Buying sims left and right is not beyond my means. And running the one I have now, I have really good experience managing them and turning them to supporting themselves. And my current tenants will surely provide wonderful references and testimonials as to my management style.

Oh, and since I'm in the communication, promotional, entertainment business in Real Life, I know every dirty little secret in the book when it comes to direct competition and communication. So I will now begin my own estate company. Can't mention my intended name here, not yet... need to establish it first, get the trademarks and copyrights registered and all that.

And I'll model my sims in terraform design similarly to his, intentionally. As long as I do the "raw" image files myself, there can be no complaints about intellectual property rights or copyright, because you can't reserve a concept.

So, look out, bonehead.
I'm coming, and you're in my sights.

As for my readers... I'll let you know when the first residential sim is ready. Come on over and take look. Since I'm happy if the sim simply supports itself in tier, I can guarantee I'll have among the lowest weekly and monthly tiers in SL.

As for posting the logs... he's not worth the effort. And I'm not really like that, anyway. But, if you are shopping for estate residential land to buy or rent - and you want to know who this childish amateur idiot asshole is so you can avoid him (or run to him, whatever) - IM me in world. I'll be happy to spit his name out at you... just like sour milk.

So, have you had any sucky landlord experiences in Second Life?
Tell me.I'm curious as hell.
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