July 16, 2020
No one says, “No, sorry,” to Justin Bieber. Or Rihanna.
When Biebs and his fashion model wife Hailey let their intentions be known — that they were looking for a three week rental in the Hamptons — agent Dylan Eckardt at Nestseekers, the self-proclaimed prince of Montauk, got to work and found the tatted-up pop prince and the runway stomper a five-bedroom pad with ocean views and a pool. Eckhardt persuaded the owners, who were currently living in the residence and didn’t have it on the market, to temporarily vacate the premises with the terrific lure of $375,000 for a three-week rental. Their suitcases were presumably packed within minutes.
This is not Bieber’s first Hampton’s rental. In previous years, according to the NY Post, he rented developer Joe Farrell’s 17,000 square foot “Sandcastle” home in Water Mill, which was leased out this year for an astonishing $2 million, as reported in The Real Deal, breaking the East End record, and is also on the market for an eye-watering $39.99 million. Bieber and Farrell also struck up a friendship, with the developer previously allowing the pop star to stay in another of his homes for free and inviting him over for dinner. Biebs returned the compliment by giving a private concert for Farrell’s family.
Eckardt also found fellow pop superstar Rihanna — who has rented in the Hamptons before — a month-long rental in the quiet North Sea area near Southampton, for which she is reportedly paying $415,000. “She was looking for an oceanfront property with a dock and jet ski access,” he says. “It doesn’t exist.” He did, however, turn up a secluded property listed for sale at almost $11 million. “We called the homeowner and bribed him to get the rental,” Eckardt reveals. The two-acre spread is anchored by a multi-winged cedar-shingle-clad mansion that features modern interiors with wide plank oak flooring, a soft color palette and faux beam ceilings. Outside there’s an 85-foot dock and a waterside swimming pool.
The stratospheric numbers are indicative of the high demand for Hampton’s rentals this year with wealthy New Yorkers desperate to flee the city and celebrities eager to socially distance amongst fellow A-listers. In a captive market, with travel limited, the sky-high numbers are the price of doing business. Eckardt told Dirt he knew early in the season that this year would be like no other. “My phone started ringing at 3 a.m. with people saying ‘I’m on my way out. I have no budget (limitations). I need a house in Southampton tomorrow.’” Eckardt says. “This was in February. Unheard of.”
Eckardt, who doesn’t count modesty as part of his skill set, also alluded to his knack for creating rentals where there are seemingly none, as was the case with both Bieber and Rihanna. “I’m the guy who gets it done,” he says. “I’m the Prince of Hamptons Real Estate. I’ve got off-market and on-market stuff. If it doesn’t exist, I will make it exist. I will find it.” He also added, “We have mutual acquaintances. He [Bieber] wanted something private at $150,000 for three weeks. We couldn’t get that so we figured something out.” Albeit at a much higher price, of course.
With the market having hit its peak over the the July 4th weekend, Eckardt has been busier than the Pope at Christmas, getting leases signed and houses rented, even if it means turfing out the owners in the process. “I’ve rented everything from Manhattan to Montauk, and everything in between. Anywhere outside New York City is strong. Westhampton, Montauk, Sag Harbor. Rentals are up over 60% this year,” he says. “The pandemic has been crazy for real estate. A lot more people are moving here full-time. When they rent, they are looking for options to eventually buy. People are getting rent-to-buy houses. This is not an anomaly.”
And that, folks, is how they roll in the Hamptons.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson