For years, Hill & Company Realtors resisted the temptation of merging with larger firms to gain market share. Its real estate agents were fiercely loyal to the boutique company that was established in 1923. Their Camden Green for-sale signs could be found on many of finest homes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
While old guard firms such as W. H. C. Wilson have disappeared since the 1980s, Hill & Company remained a force in Baltimore’s real estate market.
But this year, most of the agents who spent a career at Hill & Co. have moved to other companies.
This week, some of them shared photos on Facebook hinting at the transitions they have made.
“When one door closes, another opens,” said former Hill agent Maureen Geary, in a message that accompanies a photo of a dozen agents who moved to the Cross Keys office of Coldwell Banker. The photo shows agents who have given years to Hill & Co., including Dick Gatchell, Eva Higgins, Jake Boone, Lydia Weiss, Carol Gould, Sara Wright Gormley and Bo Coale.
Others have moved to Long & Foster, Berkshire Hathaway, and Cummings & Co.
The changes come six months after the June 8 death from melanoma of Timothy Rodgers, the president and owner of Hill and Company since 1985. His son, Patrick, took on a larger role within the company after his father’s death.
Patrick Rodgers explained that Hill & Co. was not acquired by any one firm and has not dissolved, but it has downsized. He said the company is still in business and registered with the state of Maryland and he is the broker. He said Hill and Co. had more than 20 agents last summer and they have all moved to other companies.
Rodgers said he was thinking about changing careers and going into another family business before his father became ill. Last summer, he said, the Hill agents were notified that the company would not be taking on new agents or listings after the end of 2016. He said the family decided not to sell the company to another firm and wanted each agent to have sufficient time to move to an office that is a good fit for them.
That is what is playing out now.
“We were so sad to leave Hill & Company,” but the transition has been “terrific,” Geary said. “Coldwell Banker has made us feel so welcome.”
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story named Chase Fitzgerald as a real estate brokerage that had closed. It is still open (see comments). We regret the error.