The cast of "Selling the Hamptons" Season 2 streaming on...

The cast of "Selling the Hamptons" Season 2 streaming on MAX. Pictured from left: Ashley Allen, J.B. Andreassi, Mia Calabrese, Dylan Eckardt, Peggy Zabakolas, Bianca D'Alessio, Michael Fulfree, Eddie Shapiro Credit: McGaw

With a move to Max from the sister streaming service Discovery+, the real-estate reality show “Selling the Hamptons” returns for season 2 Friday, with the Southampton-born, Montauk-raised Dylan Eckardt joining the cast.

“I was asked to do the first season,” the 45-year-old says by phone from a Manhattan hotel, while in from home in California in order to attend a launch party at the Park Avenue offices of Nest Seekers International, the firm for which he works. The company’s Southampton office and its staff are the subjects of the show. “It didn't really fit in the schedule of what I was doing,” he says. “I spend a lot of time between Malibu and Montauk and it just wasn't a right fit at the time."
It's hard to say what changed his mind about joining the show — this, despite a rapid-fire spiel from him that lasts literally almost two minutes without stop. “I am a little ADD and a little OCD,” he states later, “so for me to get things out that are in my mind, it's a challenge.” The closest he gets is saying, “I guess they needed a real rock star to come in and save season two.”
This is only the first of multiple references to himself, in an interview, as the “prince” and the “rock star” of his profession — the latter a term that, despite what his bio at Nest Seekers claims, is nothing Vanity Fair ever called him in its scathing 2016 profile. 
“Dylan wasn’t in the prior season because he was too busy on the West Coast,” Nick Rigg, an executive producer of the show, fills in. “We chose to bring him in because he’s a Hamptons local and … he’s super connected to everyone out there. And he brings a unique energy to the mix.”
Indeed, “He heightened the sense of competition among the cast,” Rigg says. “Dylan operates with a different set of rules than the rest, and it was good to see him shake things up.” As well, “There was also some unfinished business between Dylan and Michael [Fulfree],” a Centereach-raised fellow agent and family man, “and that became an obvious flash point in the series.”
It can feel as if Eckardt is trying to convince himself he’s no longer the California surfing instructor and beach bum he was after having grown up in Montauk. He and his two younger brothers, Austin and Shane, were raised initially in military housing at the decommissioned Camp Hero, now Camp Hero State Park, and later in Montauk proper. Mother Karen was a waitress — she’s now a holistic healer, splitting time between Long Island and Costa Rica — and his father Tommy a lobsterman who still lives in Montauk and goes out on his boat every day, Eckardt says.
Following East Hampton High School, Eckardt left for California, returning to Montauk around 2014. He was at loose ends, a self-described “party boy,” when Eddie Shapiro, CEO of Nest Seekers, saw something in Eckardt’s lifelong ties in famously insular Montauk, as well as a local’s instinctive knowledge of which areas were desirable and which were changing. Eckardt has since become a success brokering multimillion residential properties and developing a few commercial ones.

But there’s something elusive driving him. He offers a clue in describing a father-son relationship that seems straight out of Charlie and Martin Sheen in “Wall Street.”
“My dad's a blue-collar man,” Eckardt says. What he think of his son’s profession “depends on what day you catch him on. I mean he's proud of me, but he definitely hears it from the old fishermen around the docks — like, ‘Hey, I heard your son's selling the White House!’”

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