Ranch real estate firm opens office in Missoula

Missoula Current

A ranch brokerage specializing in premier fly-fishing, hunting and conservation real estate has opened a new office in Missoula and hired Tom Hilley to lead the team.

Hilley brings 25 years of experience in ranch real estate to Live Water Properties. He most recently served as a broker at Hilley Real Estate.

A fourth generation Montana resident, Hilley combines ranch real estate with his agricultural roots.

“I was blessed with the incredible fortune to be born in Montana, the great-grandson of ranchers AJ and Sarah McDonald, who founded the Merrimac Cattle Co.,” Hilley said. “My cousin successfully ranches it to this day. I was raised the son of an attorney in Great Falls, learning analytical reasoning at an early age.”

Live Water Properties has closed $1.3 billion in deals and currently has brokers in nine Western states. The agency expanded into Missoula earlier this year with a focus on ranch ownership and large recreational properties.

The firm recently helped close the sale of “The Farm at McCauley Butte” in Missoula. Listed at $6.2 million, it was believed to be the most expensive residential home ever sold in Missoula.

“2016 was another record year for our team in Bozeman,” said Alex Maher, president of Live Water Properties. “With a high demand for recreational properties in Montana, we’re excited about our expansion into Missoula with (Hilley) to better serve our many clients in northwestern and central Montana.”

Hilley has been a top-performing Broker specializing in rural properties in Montana. He has represented MPG Ranch, a research-based conservation company, for the past 15 years in multiple conservation and land acquisitions.

He’s also been involved with the Five Valleys Land Trust.

“In real estate, I consider myself first and foremost an agent to my clients, holding their confidentiality and trust paramount to my own financial interests in every transaction,” Hilley said.