NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A New Haven business owner, who started with the goal of simply putting food on the table for her family nearly 40 years ago, has also created a bounty for others.
Additionally, as March is Women's History Month, her story is a perfect salute to the vital role of women in Connecticut's business community.
Since 1926, Seabury–Hill Realtors, on Wooster Street in New Haven, has been one of Elm City’s most successful businesses and it has always been woman-owned.
"I don’t feel that women support other women in business as well as they should," said Barbara Hill, the owner/broker of Seabury-Hill Realtors.
As the owner for 37 years, Hill has become known for her keen eye for talent, including clients she’s helping find a home.
"She said to me 'if you ever want to do real estate, you really like looking at houses, come join us' and about two years later there, I was," said an appreciative Linda Barrett, a realtor for Seabury-Hill.
Another employee, who was not a realtor, was also impacted.
"I was here just doing clerical work and she saw something in me, and she was like 'you would make a good realtor,' and I didn’t really know much about real estate then," said Roseann Iuvone, now a realtor for Seabury-Hill.
Hill's children, Jack and Cathy, are keys to the company's success, learning from their mom's tenacity.
"I don’t think I would’ve gotten into business if it wasn’t for my mother," said Cathy Hill Conlin, a realtor with Seabury-Hill. "I played a more traditional role for many, many years raising children and she encouraged me and now it’s good."
In 2020, Seabury-Hill Realtors retained the title of the top realtor in New Haven for the fifth consecutive year.
"Generating more than $97 million in sales with over 850 transactions," Hill noted proudly.
She also said playing tennis for years was among the keys to her business success.
"I was competitive anyway," she said. "So, it came out in my real estate, as well."
For women considering starting a business, she said the formula is not complicated.
"Just go out there and do it," Hill advised. "Just make a decision and do it and don’t talk about it."
Don't be surprised if she tries to sell to you on real estate too.
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