The Hometown Agent

Selling in Your Backyard

Frank Montro’s World Class Rehabbed Homes Bring New Life to Chicago’s Southside

After college at Furman University in South Carolina, Frank Montro, a top-producing associate at Keller Williams Preferred Realty in the South/SW Chicagoland (Ill.) market center, put in three years as a consultant with Arthur Andersen. But, he never felt at home


in corporate America. The profession just did not suit him and he wanted something different. His former college friend was working in real estate in Chicago and invited Montro to come there for a visit. During his short stay, he realized he loved it: Chicago, real estate and cold calling – all of it.

Not long after, he was a Chicago resident and began his real estate career.

One of his first listings was a small house. The couple interested in buying the house brought a recently divorced friend with them to the showing. Their friend was just along for the ride and had no intention of purchasing a home. However, Montro knew at once that the house was perfect for her instead of the couple. The lady loved the home, but she told Montro in confidence that local loan officers weren’t lending to single moms. So, he found a lender who would.

“When she came out of that closing with keys in hand and tears in her eyes, I knew that I was in the right role. The entire trajectory of my life changed that day. It all came together so perfectly,” he says.

Thirty years later and still loving the business, Montro averages about 240 transactions each year. His refurbished  homes are putting new life into the Southside of Chicago, where the income is low to moderate. When the values started declining during the recession, he bought up many residential properties, and was instrumental in keeping values from completely crashing. “My purpose is to transform lives and revitalize Chicagoland, one house at a time, by rehabbing and making homeownership possible for people who have historically been renters or have not had the credit to purchase.”


For multiple years running, he’s been a grateful recipient of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Good Neighbor Award, which “showcases newly rehabbed or redeveloped properties in the Chicago metropolitan region that have increased economic vibrancy in their neighborhoods and bolstered local pride.”

Montro joined Keller Williams in June 2015, aspiring to deploy the company’s models and systems to take his business to a whole new level. Eight agents will join Montro’s team this fall, attracted to his vision to expand to the Northside and close 1,000 homes in 2016.

“I went to Family Reunion several times and met other mega agents who are succeeding at the highest levels. Some of these agents were already where I wanted to be. I realized that I could surround myself with these inspiring people so that I could positively impact even more people by growing Frank Montro Homes. Just this morning, I met with a Keller Williams associate who is technically savvy and understands how to use the systems to full effect. I love that the Keller Williams business model is agent-centric and that fellow agents are so eager to share their experience and know-how.”

This article orginally appeard in OutFront.

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