Citizen Spotlight: Bill Hightower

Quiet and humble, Bill Hightower has taken on a leadership role in the community for decades (photo S Jason Cole).

Bill Hightower is a name you might recognize around town, for nearly 40 years Bill has operated one of the most successful real estate operations in the community. Born and raised right here in Excelsior Springs, Bill has seen the ups and downs of the community. He grew up living simply and became an investor of both his time and money in the community. He raised his family here and continues to find ways to stay involved. He says Excelsior Springs has been good to him, and he’s happy to see it continue to improve.  

Growing up in a modest country home Bill didn’t have much to occupy his time so he spent his days shooting archery for hours on end. One day Bill’s uncle Larry, who he trained with told Bill’s parents, “you need to take Bill to a tournament!” At his first tournament, Bill says he felt a little nervous but he quickly got into a groove. As he shot, a crowd began to gather around. As each opponent went down, he said the crowd began to talk to him. Bill recalled one spectator asking, “Do you know who that is you’re beating? It’s the state champ!” Not only did Bill win that tournament, but he also went on to reign as a 7-state regional champion for three years and ranked in the top 3 nationally for those three years. “I managed to stay in the top three in the country for quite some time,” he humbly mentions. (The whole conversation about archery was an aside that he brought up as he was walking me to the door…)

Bill bought his first home at the age of 19 and began working at ARMCO Steel. He began dabbling in real estate early on, picking up a few investment properties here and there until fate had its way. A layoff at ARMCO pushed Bill further into real estate. Bill’s broker urged him to use his time off to study and pass his real estate certification courses, which he did successfully. For a while, Bill worked at both ARMCO and as a real estate agent. His first year as an agent was “wildly successful” and he boasted sales numbers that competed with or bested many full-time agents. Another round of layoffs gave Bill more time to grow his experience in real estate and by the time work resumed at ARMCO Bill had made the choice to pursue real estate full-time. Now, 40 years later, Bill says he has clients who he’s helped in every step of their home buying process, from buying their first home, and now to what may be their last. “It’s relationships that make working in a small community like Excelsior Springs work,” says Bill. 

Bill and the Hightower Team work hard and have fun (submitted photo).

Over the years Bill has served on countless committees and boards both throughout the city and for the real estate industry. “City Council, Parks Board, Hospital Board, I’ve had a stint on almost all of them,” he chuckles. Bill says he’s had his turn and he’d rather see some of the younger folks take theirs. He works alongside his daughter, Melissa Bartlett, and is encouraging her to take on the leadership roles that he once pursued. When asked what he sees for the future of Excelsior Springs, Bill smiles with a twinkle in his eye. “I think we’re going in the right direction with our commercial downtown area and our westside commercial growth. There are some things in the works now that I think are just going to really impress people,” he said.

When he’s not wheelin’ and dealin’ Bill loves to go hunting and fishing. Whether he’s tracking elusive morel mushrooms, fishing for crappie, hunting deer, pheasant, turkey, or even a bear here and there, Bill still likes to get out and explore nature. “I still don’t get out as much as I like, but I do get out,” Bill laughs.

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