If you’re only now finding this game and this article, I highly suggest you give my first article a read. It will set a solid foundation for what is to come below. In it I talk about basic strategies to get your feet wet. Here I will discuss some ways to make your initial investment grow.
As in real life those who make the most money are often those who get in first. That first resale makes the most money and after that there can be diminishing returns, disregarding any outside influences. Sometimes those influences will increase the value of something, especially a neighborhood that gentrifies. We’ll see how that plays out in the cyber world.
Flipping, for those not in the know, is the act of purchasing a property (or any other asset) for the sole intent of reselling it as quickly as possible for as much profit as possible. Some ‘reality’ TV shows have glamorized this phenomenon and others have tried to copy what they see on TV. Some with success, others with disastrous failure. There’s more to buying low and selling high.
There are two main reasons to buy an Upland property. One, is that it is in an established collection and the bonuses that can be reaped for that collection will be realized once the criteria are met, that is, you own and tag the minimum amount of properties. As discussed last time, this is pretty easy for, say, Sunset or Mission District. It is much harder for Haight Ashbury or Sea Cliff right now since those neighborhoods are sold out.
But that brings us to the second reason to buy properties. In a neighborhood with, say, 1000 properties where 4 are required to meet a collection, only 250 players at most can achieve that at any given time. In a game with 8,000 players (and quickly rising!) others want to take advantage of that collection bonus as well. So, the players that were in first are now in a position to sell to those that want in. How much are they going to sell for, their price? No! Demand has gone way up and supply is diminished! Those sellers can now sell for about twice what they spent to get in, maybe more!
Consider if you buy a property for 10,000 UPX and you put it in a collection where it gets a 2x bonus modifier. You will make 288 UPX per month off of that property. After a year you will have made 3456 UPX off that property. Not bad, but not astounding. However, once that neighborhood or collection sells out, you have the power to turn your property for much more than you bought it for. The LEAST you should sell it for in this case would be 13,456 UPX. But if you wait and hold until a neighborhood suddenly sells out, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to sell it for 20,000. Or more even!
Haight Ashbury is a good example. a 30UP² would have originally sold for 3600 UPX. Pretty reasonable! The collection modifier is not even that great, only 185%. But to buy a property there now would set you back 50,000 UPX! Tell me, how bad do you really want that collection?
Alright, Haight Ashbury sold out months ago, let’s look at a more recent example. Sea Cliff is another collections neighborhood that sold out only a few weeks ago. I bought 3 new properties there before it was sold out, one of which was unminted for 35,520 UPX. The others I bought second hand due to limited cash on hand. One was originally 23,040 UPX and I bought it for 30,999, a modest 35% markup for the seller. Once it sold out, I listed that same property for 60,000 UPX and it was the cheapest in the neighborhood. That is almost a 100% profit for me. Imagine if the original buyer waited to sell it. He’d sell it for 60,000 but be making 160% profit over and above his original purchase.
I ended up selling 2 of my 3 Sea Cliff properties for 59,000 UPX each. With that I got myself into Nob Hill where my collection bonuses almost doubled. Nob Hill is sold out and Lower Nob Hill is getting there.
Here’s an even better example. Alamo Square is a neighborhood that has no in-game collection bonus. It is relatively small and well known due to it being home to the Painted Ladies, a series of 7 absolutely stunning Victorian homes, as well as a beautiful central park named, get this, Alamo Square. This neighborhood started being hyped on the Discord chat as a place to start a community built neighborhood, own your ‘home’ etc. Really appealing pitch. As the properties got swallowed up I figured it couldn’t hurt to get in. So I practically sprained a wrist forcing myself not to fiat in another $10. I purchased one of the remaining 33 UP² properties (the smallest one left) for 10,890 UPX. Then the neighborhood sold out. A few people had listed their properties on speculation. I watched as properties sold for 30k, 40k, and even 50k. I waited several more days and noticed that the lowest priced properties were around 70k UPX. Given those kind of numbers I figured it was time to make my next strategic move. I mean, the whole neighborhood thing was really appealing and I thought I’d build a home here. But when I realized that I could probably sell the place and buy into Russian Hill AND Pacific Heights I knew it was time. So I listed for 69,000 UPX and advertised. Over the next day or two I slowly dropped the price to 66,900 UPX. That evening it sold. The cheapest property now is 75k UPX. After that sells it will cost 100,000 UPX to get into Alamo Square.
Did you see those numbers? Bought for 11k, sold for 67k. That is a 614% return on investment! Best deal I’ve ever done so far. Wished I’d bought one or two more.
A few other examples abound. Lakeshore went through a similar growth. It was already half sold out when a user with an abundant number of properties there started hyping it on Discord. I saw another potential here. Properties were only 3000 UPX which was much more my speed. That’s about all I had liquidated at that point so I bought a property without having to fiat any money in. Saved the wrist too. As soon as the neighborhood sold out I listed my property for 5100 UPX and it was gone within half an hour.
This is a neighborhood that attracted several new visitors. Remember, visitors need to log in at least every week to renew their passport or their properties go back to being unminted. The next morning someone happened to notice that a few Lakeshore properties had reverted to unminted and mentioned it on Discord. I zoomed over there and found 3 grey properties. I snagged one for 3300 UPX and resold it for 5500. Then another came available for 3600 and I flipped it within an hour for 5900. That’s a 4400 UPX profit for some quick work and paying attention! A friend of mine later picked up another newly unminted for 4000 UPX. He figures he could sell for 9000 and I don’t doubt it.
Why did this work out this way? Hype and FOMO* are powerful money makers. Sure, real world influences of the neighborhood itself may have pushed into people’s minds. Perhaps when they build a digital house on a digital property and they sit looking at it on their 10010110-phone, they will envision in their mind what the neighborhood looks like and receive joy. Good for them! Personally, I wish to make as much UPX in the game as I can, convert it to fiat, and maybe, just maybe, I could have the means to travel to the real place someday. But I digress.
* FOMO: Fear of missing out. “What if everybody else gets to do this except me?” Several factors can lead to FOMO including upbringing, anxiety and peer pressure. I never want to succeed as a direct result of someone else’s failures but if they’re going to buy something anyway, I want to be the one to give them the best experience possible.
What does this mean for you? First, if you didn’t pay attention before, join the Upland Fans server on Discord. Otherwise you’ll have no idea what’s going on. Second, watch the news feeds for the next hot neighborhood. There are even specific channels for some of the more active neighborhoods. If you were on there you’d see that Corona Heights just sold out. Corona Heights? Who cares! Well, apparently enough people do that it went like hotcakes. I was a little skeptical of that neighborhood (the name, maybe) but others weren’t. Like Lakeshore, they were picking up properties for 3000 and 4000 and are now flipping them for 6000 and up. I honestly don’t know how far the flipping will go but it will end up being another very cool digital community!
You too could be a land shark!
What neighborhood is next? I really don’t know. Cow Hollow is a pretty hoity-toity neighborhood in real life but hasn’t gotten much love in the game. Cole Valley is like an extension of Haight-Ashbury, but without the legacy. Telegraph Hill was on its way to being sold out then fizzled out. Maybe it will fire up again as one of the most core neighborhoods, who knows. Good indicators are low initial values, small to medium sized neighborhoods and desirable locations IRL. Dogpatch has been getting a little attention recently but I think it lacks a good amount of smaller lots and there are no huge unbuyable lots that many of the other communities have. (That key unbuyable lot is supposedly going to be available for the neighborhood residents to buy and develop, once their own lots reach a certain development standard).
Update: Little Hollywood is starting to get some attention. It’s right on the SE edge of town but has good proximity to the airport for anyone investing in New York City. The current talk is to fill it with homes and services for those that don’t want to travel far. Lots are in the 4k and up range. I’m buying in for a few lots and we’ll see what happens!
I’ll go into development in a future post but as there is only talk and no details, I don’t want to steer you wrong yet. But in brief, you will be able to place houses on your property and rent them to others as their in-game base. Or place a business on them or place a business and rent it to others. The money making potential is huge!
Want to start buying and selling? Get in the game now!