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Like thousands of other Keller Williams agents, Robert Montalbano relished the opportunity to attend the brokerage’s Mega Agent Camp in Austin last week.

The New Jersey agent posted a video in the wee hours of Aug. 13 showcasing his team’s trip to Pete’s Piano Bar in Texas two days before Keller Williams’ event was to begin at the Austin Convention Center with a simple caption: “Austin!!!”

Unfortunately, the Facebook post would be Montalbano’s last, as he died later that day in a boating accident on Lake Travis, a reservoir on the Colorado River in Texas. A jet skier accidentally crashed into Montalbano and three other passengers on a 15-seat pontoon boat. First responders weren’t able to resuscitate the real estate agent, who allegedly took a direct hit that day.


The Travis County Sheriff’s Office told KXAN that first responders transported the other three victims to two nearby trauma centers. They didn’t provide any information about the skier.

“He was a truly authentic person inside and out and my heart is breaking for his family and all of those who knew him,” KW Moorestown agent Jennifer D’Alesandro said in a Facebook post honoring Montalbano. “I feel fortunate to have spent the last couple of days with him having a group dinner, enjoying the piano bar, and spending the day with him on the lake talking about how we were going to start our real estate teams.”

Rob Montalbano | Facebook

Montalbano’s family said Robert was a passionate public servant who spent 30 years working for the Juvenile Justice Commission before retiring in early 2022. During his last five years with the JJC, Montalbano juggled a burgeoning real estate career with Keller Williams Moorestown and quickly became one of the office’s top agents.

Montalbano closed July with more than $1 million in sales volume and had been recognized as one of the top 100 Keller Williams agents in the region.

“Rob used his superior people skills, humor, charisma and drive for success to jump-start his second career,” family member Carlo Montalbano wrote on GoFundMe. “He was seen as a mentor during both his time with the JJC and with Keller Williams.”

A litany of Facebook posts backed up Carlo’s tribute, with agents across the Keller Williams network praising the agent for his work ethic and generous spirit.

“To the person who had such an impact on my life, I owe so much to you,” KW agent John Bunce Jr. said on Monday. “Leaving high school [and] being lost with no direction, Rob took me in and gave me a path in real estate. [He showed] me the ropes at just 18 and truly believed in me every step of the way, as well as taking me under his wing to guide me in ways that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.”

“Rob was as golden as they come,” added KW agent Christine Dunn Dash. “This is truly such a tragic loss to his family and all of us who loved him.”

In addition to offering thoughts and prayers, the Moorestown community has rallied to help Montalbano’s wife, Renee, and two children, Nina and Nick, cover the cost of transporting Robert’s body from Texas to New Jersey and other funeral-related expenses. The initial goal was $10,000; however, donations have skyrocketed to $68,547. Keller Williams Moorestown donated $5,000.

“Anyone who knew Rob would say he was a loyal friend, devoted father, brother, loving husband, and caring son who had a unique way of making people laugh all of the time. Although extremely successful in his professional career, Rob’s true passion in life was his family,” the GoFundMe page reads. “Rob will also be sorely missed by his many nieces and nephews, as well as the countless number of people’s lives he touched.”

“The Montalbano Family can’t thank everyone enough for your kindness, love, support and generosity during this very difficult time.”

The family is still taking donations here

Email Marian McPherson

Keller Williams
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