Costa Rica published, last July, the regulations of Law 10,008 or “Law for the Attraction of Remote Workers and International Service Providers“, known as the “Digital Nomad Law“. With this, according to the projections of the real estate consultants, the doors were opened to a robust market. How can different sectors take advantage of the opportunities of this potential impact?
Álvaro Cortés, an expert in the field, sees that the key lies in the formation of labor ecosystems throughout the country. “From our point of view, the nomads represent a great opportunity: a kind of foreign direct investment capsule, but decentralized in people. Instead of talking about possible benefits for hotels, offices, homes and businesses as isolated sectors, the digital nomad market will be attracted to Costa Rica to the extent that important links are achieved between each sector and that they form, through their synergies, an ecosystem,” he said.
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In 2020, Cushman & Wakefield’s Future of Workplace Experience per Square Foot™ report outlined how digitization, accelerated by the pandemic, has blurred the lines between work, life and play, to the point where 73% of global remote employees wanted remote work policies expanded. to balance office, home and third party locations. These estimates materialize today and several countries, including Costa Rica, articulated measures to attract this large market.
The National Chamber of Tourism estimates that each person could generate more than $23,000 per semester for the economy if they come to work in the country with their family under this modality.
“Remote workers are looking for a variety of locations and experiences around the world that provide comfort, functionality and well-being. In this sense, we have observed, on the one hand, how the Digital Nomad Law is already part of the conversation as a strategy for attracting and retaining talent. Companies with vision can think of this regulation as a benefit for remote workers. On the other hand, the pioneering players in the real estate sector not only review their business models, but also prepare themselves with flexible and innovative legal, financial and technological approaches to be able to meet the particular demands of the market they are going to face. receive,” Cortes added.
Work ecosystems: the role of each real estate sector
Experts point out that the development of labor ecosystems can occur in any geographic area of Costa Rica that has the right combination of tourist attractions, access to cutting-edge technology, and communities around specific leisure interests.
“A fundamental factor for the real estate sector to be articulated under the ecosystem modality is that it forgets the ‘machote’. The business model of each actor must provide flexible contracts, perhaps short-term, for spaces where people can live, work and play. For this, it will be essential to take advantage of technology with international payment platforms or solutions such as Airbnb. Each owner must conceive his space as a service, under a non-traditional structure. Thus, we project that the legal and accounting configurations will expand and impact other laws and regulations in the future; and in favor of attracting digital nomads,” said Cortés.
While people will change to balance office, home, and third places, the office will continue to be a critical driver of culture, learning, and personal life. Plug and play workspaces in interesting places that have all the tools: screens, ergonomic furniture, high-speed internet, among others, will be more competitive.
For this sector, the strategy of attracting digital nomads can represent an interesting component of post-pandemic recovery. Successful hotels will be those that have the ability to attract this floating population that thinks not only of pleasure and fun, but also of medium-term housing and a place to work: a corporate hotel-style hybrid, with differentiated amenities for this market
The housing sector must generate greater openness to digital platforms, legal advice for medium-term stay contracts and accounting to prepare for non-traditional means of payment. For example, those owners who have a real estate portfolio can offer different mobility options within the country for digital nomads under a membership system, as an alternative to the typical housing rental contract.
“As always, the recommendation is to look for real estate, legal and financial advisors who accompany you with the knowledge and vision to act quickly and adapt to the new type of demand that digital nomads will generate,” concluded Cortés.