“It’s me waking up, surfing, driving around with my customers, showing pretty houses, going fishing and just the lifestyle that I live. I guess it’s kind of interesting,” Eckardt told The Real Deal in a phone call he took on the beach.
While there already is a rather popular real estate reality show out there, Eckardt insists that his is going to be different. “I could have done Million Dollar Listing,” he said. “It’s not that shit, it’s real. It’s a Robin Hood story, this is real life, this isn’t like staging shit.”
Eckardt shot to fame last year after the aforementioned Vanity Fair profile came out, which painted him as a hustling local celebrity with a coterie of famous friends and a deep connection to his hometown.
His reputation was diminished somewhat a few weeks after the article appeared, however, when he was arrested for driving under the influence. Though several news outlets, including TRD, reported that Eckardt was fired from his position at Nest Seekers following the arrest, he maintains that he only took an extended leave of absence, which was confirmed by the brokerage.
Though Eckardt says he regrets his actions, he claims that his arrest has actually helped his brand. “I proved that I could sell really high-end real estate, I proved that I’m a bad boy, now I’m just going to prove that I’m going to be the best agent in the country this year.”
But he doesn’t want to be a broker forever; eventually, he says, he wants to be a developer, because he has strong ideas about the future of Montauk and what he wants it to become.
“Montauk and the Hamptons are where I’ve run free my whole life, and all I’m trying to do is keep it somewhat authentic, enough that the next generations of people can appreciate the beauty we have,” he said. “It’s not just about bars and rosé, you know?”
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a character on the show.