Saul Cohen cofounded his real estate company in 1991 with the intention of providing the same service to every client, regardless of whether they could afford a $6 million home or a $60,000 one.
That fair treatment is apparently more than just a goal at the Chestnut Hill agency. In fact, employees rated Hammond’s sense of values and ethics more favorably than workers did at any other company in the state.
“It’s setting the standard of taking the high road and to always do what is right,” said Cohen, the 82-year-old Hammond president. “Even if everyone else is doing it, you need to pause for a moment and think about it.”
Take the company’s approach to pocket listings. The controversial practice occurs when a real estate agent accepts a listing from a homeowner and then notifies one of his own buyers without sharing it with other agents. Although technically not illegal, Cohen forbids his agents from showing a property until others know it’s available.
“That’s self-serving for the agent, and that’s wrong,” Cohen said.
These high standards are expected in everything from sales negotiations to being fastidious about the language in a brochure. Cohen says Hammond makes a point to give back to the community and has sponsored a free concert series in Boston and surrounding communities since 1994.
“Mediocracy is not really acceptable,” he said. “We have a very clear vision that we have a role in the community and we should be pursuing it properly.”