Seasteading – Investing Opportunities on the High Seas

We’re dishing the dirt on dirtless real estate. 

That’s right … owning real estate doesn’t mean owning solid land anymore. 

It’s all made possible by a quirky little idea called “seasteading” … a growing movement of independent entrepreneurs to set up homesteads on the high seas. 

Listen in as we learn more about this novel idea to decide if there’s an opportunity for you to add floating properties to your portfolio. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your seafaring host, Robert Helms
  • His seasick co-host, Russell Gray 
  • President of the Seasteading Institute, Joe Quirk

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What is seasteading?

They’re not making any more real estate … but what about the two-thirds of the planet’s surface that aren’t controlled by any nation or state?

That’s right. We’re talking about the ocean.

Today we’re speaking with Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute.

We met Joe at our annual Investor Summit at Sea. One of our amazing faculty told us, “You’ve got to meet this guy. He has a fascinating topic. We’ve got to have him on Summit!”

And we moved heaven and earth to make it happen. We found Joe absolutely captivating.

Most of the people that listen to our podcast and radio show are individualistic … they’re out of the box thinkers.

They aren’t just checking boxes. They are interested in learning about how to be a smart investor … a better investor.

Joe’s idea is definitely for out of the box thinkers.

The premise is this:

The oceans can provide a possible new home for all kinds of folks, ideologies, and lifestyles.

Joe uses the analogy of a cruise ship. A cruise ship is really just a floating city with restaurants and bars and convention space and activities.

And it’s got its own kind of quasi government.

A seastead is the same basic idea.

Testing modern boundaries

The Seasteading Institute, which Joe leads, was founded 10 years ago.

But the very first actual seastead home was launched a few weeks before our Summit … outside of the country of Thailand.

The floating home was affordable for the average American … in fact it cost less than the average American home.

But a few weeks later the Thai government forced the seasteaders to leave. What does that mean for seasteading?

“We were planning on scaling up these small floating cabins into a colonization of the blue frontier more than 12 miles off the coast of Thailand,” Joe says.

He says they had a few hundred people signed up to buy homes. Designs were in for leading aqua tech like an underwater restaurant.

“But to everyone’s surprise, the Thai navy took exception to this and raced in to confiscate the seastead and arrest the seasteaders,” Joe says.

The seasteaders fled before the Thai navy arrived and have been on the run.

“We were all in a panic trying to figure out what was going on, but the seasteaders managed to evade capture, and they are still safe and free and in hiding,” Joe says.

A rough start on the high seas.

“But it has drawn so much attention to the seasteading movement that the number of people interested in buying one has tripled,” Joe says. “And two new countries have expressed interest in possible hosting one.”

You have to test the boundaries before you can get traction … and Joe says that is what this experience was all about.

Cooperating with established nations

The seasteaders thought they were in international waters. One of the big premises of seasteading is that the vast majority of the earth’s surface is not controlled by any one nation.

Imagine creating pop-up nations of seasteaders who can physically move their home based on who they want to be around and how they want to be governed.

“People like to talk about colonizing Mars. We want to colonize the other half of this planet, which I like to call planet ocean,” Joe says.

Joe says that he would like to unleash innovators out into the world who have better ideas for society … as long as people can choose to live among them voluntarily and quit them voluntarily.

“I think the Thai navy’s reaction is unique. I don’t think other countries in the world will react the same way,” Joe says.

Joe says seasteading is just a cool and vibrant way to live. It’s not unlike the way sailors moved port to port several centuries ago.

“I like the analogy that if other nations of the world are sharks, they should think of seasteaders as cleaner fish. They provide a service the shark appreciates and so the shark doesn’t eat you,” Joe says.

Seasteads could offer valuable services like lawyers, financial experts, and more to the countries they live next to.

The future of seasteading

Joe says he feels the future of seasteading is bright … but it does require people to flip their brains and change the way they think.

For instance, farming doesn’t have to be a land-based activity.

Hopeful seasteaders are investigating the idea of farming fish or seaweed … which is much more nutritious than corn, wheat, and soy.

People also have ideas for floating solar farms because solar is more efficient on the ocean than it is on land.

And wave energy is abundant too. Joe reminds investors that floating wind turbines off the coast of Scotland are already supporting hundreds of people with energy.

Another common misconception about ocean life … that gravity isn’t your friend.

When you build things on land, you build straight up. But when you build on the ocean … you build down.

The deeper you go … and the wider you go … the more stable the structures are.

And as structures grow deep under the waves, it creates new coral environments for ocean life.

“This is the next frontier, and we’re making it happen,” Joe says.

To learn more about seasteading, listen in to the full episode!


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Live from the 17th Annual Summit at Sea

Ten amazing days … over 200 people … studying, sharing, learning, growing, and partying … that’s the Investor Summit at Sea!

For 17 years, the Summit at Sea has been the highlight of our year … and we’re excited to share a piece of it with YOU.

We’ve gathered some of real estate’s most successful investors, entrepreneurs, niche experts, and thought leaders to share their insights and key takeaways from the 2019 Summit.

Listen in and learn what these pros discovered … and how it could help you make smarter investment decisions.

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your sailing host, Robert Helms
  • His flailing co-host, Russell Gray
  • Author and seasteading expert, Joe Quirk
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad best-selling author, Robert Kiyosaki
  • The Apartment King, Brad Sumrok
  • Marketing mastermind, Kyle Wilson
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms
  • And SO MANY MORE!

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Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!

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This is the Investor Summit at Sea

The annual Investor Summit at Sea is always a highlight of our year.

It’s a concentrated amount of time with some of real estate’s smartest people … all from different walks of life, different perspectives, and even different countries.

Every year, we learn to ask better questions … clarify our thinking … and do things differently.

Opportunities like the Summit at Sea are rare. In a short time frame, investors become friends, work out problems, and do some business.

We’d love EVERY one of our listeners to join us on the high seas … but we’d need a bigger boat!

So, we’ve brought together some of our fabulous faculty members to share their insights and key takeaways from the 2019 Summit at Sea.

A first glimpse at seasteading

Joe Quirk was a last minute addition to our faculty this year … and we’re so glad he came.

Joe’s real estate niche is seasteading … that’s right … homesteading the high seas.

It’s a novel idea. Joe says that … considering nearly half the world’s surface is unclaimed by any existing nation state … the technology is at hand to create startup countries on the ocean.

“It’s sort of a Silicon Valley sensibility brought to the problem of governance,” Joe says.

Instead of trying to change things from the inside, you create startups and do things better.

The first seastead has been floating off the coast of Thailand since early 2019 … and living there costs less than the average American home.

Joe and his team are ready to scale up … and scale up quickly. But he needs partners with real estate smarts to make it happen.

“We have marine engineers, economists, scientists, and medical experts. We have almost everyone we need, but we don’t have people that know how to structure and sell these things,” Joe says.

We view seasteading as a fascinating new frontier in real estate … and we’ll have more with Joe in the coming weeks.

Look at deals through a new lens

It’s Robert Kiyosaki’s sixth Summit at Sea … and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him back.

“I come to learn as well as to teach,” Robert says. “The Summit at Sea is basically immersion learning for real estate.”

Our port excursion this year was Grand Cayman. This area has undergone an interesting transition over the last few years.

Typically, people think of Grand Cayman as the place where rich people want to hide their money … but it is so much more!

Robert says he learned that how you look at a deal can really change the opportunities you see.

In the case of Grand Cayman, Robert had always looked at the market from the point of view of an investor … but he learned that sometimes it pays to try looking at a market from a developer’s point of view instead.

Through this lens, he could see that Grand Cayman is becoming a target for families. As the economic gap between rich and poor widens on other islands … crime rates are rising.

But Grand Cayman has the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean.

That fact coupled with high standards of living make it attractive to a new housing demographic … not just people looking for a tax shelter.

“There’s a deal of a lifetime every minute if you can see it,” Robert says.

Expand your team, increase your success

The Apartment King, Brad Sumrok, joins us for his third Summit at Sea.

Brad has made apartments his bread and butter … but that doesn’t mean he is done learning and growing.

“I keep expanding my team every time I’m here,” Brad says.

There’s no better way to grow your team than by spending a week and a half on a ship with 200 other people who specialize in a variety of asset classes.

So much of investment success is leveraging other people’s experience.

Last year, Brad says he connected with our good friend CPA Tom Wheelwright … and this year Tom saved Brad seven figures in taxes!

That’s a take away Brad took directly to the bank … and by surrounding yourself with smart people, you can do the same.

Master your marketing one step at a time

We’ve known Kyle Wilson for many years. He is a familiar face on the Summit at Sea … and always has great ideas for how to better market your real estate business.

“So many people are in the real estate business. They’re good at real estate. They’re good at finding markets and putting together teams, but not always solid in their marketing position,” Kyle says.

It’s easy to overcomplicate marketing. At the end of the day, marketing is simply connecting the dots for your customers.

Kyle says the key for real estate investors is to act in a strategic way. Don’t just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hope it sticks.

And remember that so much of real estate investing is built on relationships. Never let what seems like a good tactic get in the way of a good relationship.

Kyle is leaving the Summit with a list of ideas and action items … but cautions investors to take things one step at a time.

“You can’t do it all. Pick the one thing that’s screaming at you that will make the biggest difference and start there,” Kyle says.

A wealth of amazing opportunities

If anyone understands the benefits of an opportunity like the Investor Summit at Sea, it’s the Godfather of Real Estate himself … Bob Helms!

We’ve been hosting these cruise ship conferences for 17 years … and Bob has been with us every time.

With 40 years of real estate experience, Bob has seen amazing changes in the way investors make money and grow their opportunities.

“As I look at the group that is here with us today and the diversity of things they are involved in, I can’t help but have a big grin on my face,” Bob says. “The opportunities out there are amazing.”

Bob says his advice to investors is to educate themselves on different locations and asset classes. Find the niche that is right for you … and start building a winning team!

Get on the advance notice list for next year’s Summit at Sea by visiting our website … and listen in to the full episode to hear from even more experts and ideas from our week on the waves.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!