We Not Only Stand With Black Lives.
We Are Powered by Black Lives.
June 19, 2020
In December 2019, our ownership group acquired Hill & Co. Property Management. Our vision is simple. We believe that by focusing on customer delight, leveraging technology where it can help, and investing in people as the engine that drives our business, we can modernize how residential real estate services are brought to market, while building a great company in the process.
Six months into that journey, a lot has changed in the world around us. The global COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we relate to the spaces in which we work, live, and play. It has altered the way that real estate deals are transacted, and has impacted the value of the underlying assets across most classes of real estate. It remains to be seen what the long-term impact will be on our industry.
But most importantly, as Black entrepreneurs and executives, we feel personally called upon to lead Hill & Co. through our collective fight against the global pandemic of racial injustice. We are encouraged to see many companies ranging from startups to iconic Fortune 50 brands taking bold action in support of the Black Lives movement. At Hill & Co., we not only stand in solidarity with Black Lives, we are a company that is proudly owned, operated, and powered by Black Lives.
We spend today in observance of Juneteenth, a day that we commemorate the ending of slavery in America. Over 150 years have passed and the systemic injustices caused by this chapter in our nation’s history remain deeply entrenched in too many of our institutions. We wrote this letter to share some of the things we are doing about it as a company:
Supporting Our Team Members. Today we are observing Juneteenth as a company holiday, during which we encourage all team members to reflect on the day’s meaning and to take any action they see fit to support racial justice. In addition, we are supporting our employees’ efforts to join the movement in the following ways:
- Optional paid half day to attend a peaceful demonstration, or to focus on mental health.
- Optional vote holiday. Team members are encouraged to use a paid half day to vote on November 3rd, and to support voter registration and mobilization efforts.
Financial Contributions. Through our personal and professional commitments, we are contributing a minimum of $10,000 to organizations directly involved in the fight for racial justice, or focused on serving Black communities that have been adversely affected. Some of these organizations include:
- Black Lives Matter
- The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area
- Black Futures Lab
- Campaign Zero
- Center for Policing Equity
- Community Housing Partnership
- Safe Place for Youth
Supporting Black-Owned Businesses. A core component of the service we provide is connecting property owners with local service providers (handymen, plumbers, locksmiths, landscapers, etc.) who keep our clients’ properties up and running. These are by and large small businesses owned by local entrepreneurs. We are paying close attention to the aggregate share of vendor spend under Hill & Co. management contracts that we allocate to minority owned and operated businesses, and we are committed to growing this number as we grow our business.
Ongoing Commitment to Diversity. In six months, we have increased our Black employee representation from 22% to 31%. We are proud that our Head of Business Operations (our most senior executive after ownership), and our most senior Finance team member (one of Hill & Co.’s most tenured employees), are both Black women. As we grow, we are committed to maintaining a culture that prides itself on all types of diversity (80% of our team members identify as female). We will establish, track, and publish our diversity and inclusion data at regular intervals, at least annually.
We are hopeful we can all use this moment as an opportunity to take a step forward as a business community, and as global citizens. The entire Hill & Co. family stands united with our friends, peers, and allies in the movement for Black Lives.
Brian & Chris