Real Estate Agents of the Month Jason Koenig & Shane Montoya

Jason Koenig and Shane Montoya

Defining the Odd in the Odd Couple Team

By Elizabeth Morse

Life and business partners of 20 years, Jason Koenig and Shane Montoya have created a name for themselves as “The Odd Couple” through their real estate team of the same name. The two agents brought together their complementary skills to build a team they’re proud to represent every day.

“We both came to the real estate industry from very different paths,” Montoya says.

Originally from Wyoming, Montoya fell in love with the land of ten thousand lakes when attending college in Winona. He worked as an international recruiter and then a top sales agent for several different large real estate businesses.

“The corporate approach didn’t click with my way of doing business,” Montoya says. “I wanted to create something of my own. With my background and entrepreneurial drive, I knew a real estate team was the best path forward.”

Koenig, a St. Paul native, joined Montoya’s team eight years after its founding. He left behind his successful career working with many of Minneapolis’ top advertising agencies to join up with his partner and expand the business.

“Shane and I are complete opposites,” Koenig says. “Shane is the visionary; he has great ideas and challenges the team to envision that future. Whereas I’m more behind the scenes trying to align a strategy to obtain those ideas and goals Shane comes up with.”

The Team
“Our team definitely lives up to its name,” Koenig says. “The Odd Couple Team sprouted from the desire to be memorable and out of the box. We want people to immediately see us as different. I think that certainly comes across.”

Their team consists of Austen Kordosky, Ryan Radtke, Angela Conrath, Corbyn Tao, Joe Garofalo, Amy Mrozek Marjorie Patton Weide and Molly Dyson. The team also has a fun paragraph on their website indicating what makes each team member odd. Kordosky knows every restaurant in the Twin Cities and if he had a different career it would be as a food critic. Radtke color coordinates his closet according to color and last time worn. Conrath has a side business fostering dogs, including the 100 she fostered in the last decade. Tao has a passion for Marvel comics and likes to think of himself as a superhero from time to time. Mrozek has an immense love for cereal and would eat it for every meal if she could. Dyson is a homegrown St. Paul girl and resides in Highland Park not far from her childhood home.

“We built a team of great individuals who have become like family,” Koenig says. “I think it’s important to show individual appreciation in recognizing each agent’s talent and helping them grow. Watching our agents achieve their goals and grow their business is a feeling I can’t truly describe. It’s about the success of the team, not one individual.”

Solution oriented and focused on providing services that uphold the integrity and ethical standards of a REALTOR®, the two agents thrive off Keller Williams Realty philosophy W I 4-C’s 2-T’s S, meaning Win-win or no deal; Integrity; Commitment in all things; Communication in seeking to understand; Creativity in finding results; Customers always come first; Teamwork allows everyone to achieve more; Trust is founded on honesty; and, Success results through people.

“Helping people accomplish their goal and carrying the burden during times of stress is one of the most amazing parts of being a REALTOR®,” Montoya says.

Taking a look at their website, you will see review after review commenting on the professionalism, respect and expertise demonstrated in each team member. From knowing every nook and cranny of St. Paul to their involvement in the community to their top level service and expert handling of stressful situations, their clients rave about the team Montoya and Koenig lead.

Getting Connected with the Community
The team has deep roots in the community and has established a foundation of clients by making them feel as if they are in an exclusive club. By building a community-oriented business that emphasizes “doing good,” the two have been able to build their way toward being a household name in St. Paul.

“We regularly sponsor local events in the community, including parties and barbeques in our backyard. We’ve hosted photos with Santa during the holidays, pony rides at a Halloween event, kid bounce houses for National Night Out as well as a dog event,” Montoya says. “Each event draws a crowd of current and past clients as well as potential clients. We have created a strong network through our involvement in the community.”

Additionally, The Odd Couple Team’s location on Grand Ave places them in the heart of the business district, drawing thousands of people by their office daily. Proving the rule location, location, location, The Odd Couple Team is able to reap a large clientele from off-the-street clients and become more connected with the community.

Because of their location, the two became members of the Grand Ave Business Association where they have found tremendous support and mentorship. “Through the organization, we have met many successful business owners who have lent us a hand by providing insight into their own businesses,” Koenig says. “Above all, however, Gary Keller, cofounder of Keller Williams, has been our longest and greatest mentor in real estate.”

Advice & Drive
Koenig and Montoya both credit their parents and grandparents with teaching them values and strong work ethic. As an homage to those lessons, Koenig keeps a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You Will Go” on their coffee table. The book was a high school graduation gift from his aunt and uncle.

“That book has illustrated my life from the age of 17 on,” he laughs.

Over the years of their business, the two agents have found a way to guide their own agents the way their parents guided them in their nominal years.

“Our approach isn’t for everyone, but there are lessons we have learned that apply to everyone,” Koenig says. “Don’t be a secret keeper. It’s crucial to any agent’s success; constantly ask for business. You have to be able to put yourself out there. If you can do that, you will be surprised by how wildly successful your business becomes.”

“Remember transactions aren’t personal,” Montoya says. “You have to be able to remove all emotion from the transaction aspect because it’s about doing the right thing and helping your client. There are a lot of factors that contribute to each individual transaction. Your eye needs to be on that.”

The Odd Couple
Outside the office, the two carry their different personalities to create a diverse and spontaneous life.

“Jason and I are foodies,” Montoya says. “Well,” Montoya laughs, “I would rather eat while Jason would prefer a run.”

The two frequent several restaurants around the area. They both love to go out and try something new as well.

“We also like to travel,” Koenig says. “I definitely like to stay active; I can’t sit still!”

Recently, the two have visited Belize, The Dominican Republic and the West Coast, enjoying the sun, sand and local culture. They have plans to journey back to Belize in the next year.

“We are seriously considering the island of Caye Caulker as a retirement option many years from now,” Montoya says.

Back home, the two hope to continue the success of their business in years to come.