Eddy Perez, CMB, is President and CEO of Equity Prime Mortgage based in Atlanta, Georgia where he oversees overall operations, sales, revenue, marketing, compliance, and technology. As co-founder of Equity Prime Mortgage, recognized as part of the Inc. 5000, he has excelled within the mortgage industry being named one of the nation’s top mortgage bankers, recognized in National Mortgage Professionals Magazine’s “40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals under 40.” Throughout his distinguished career he has held multiple executive-level positions. Prior to co-founding Equity Prime Mortgage, in 2008, he operated the top producing office for Global Mortgage, Inc. He holds the prestigious Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designation which he earned in October 2014. Perez is the chairman of the MORPAC, panelist for MBA future leaders’ program, holds a seat on the Board of Directors with the MBA and now co-chair of the new MBA affordable housing council.
How did you get started in this business?
It was through word of mouth. The hairdresser to my now wife told her about the opportunities in the industry because her husband had jumped into it. I had been a stockbroker but was leaving that side of the industry. This was right after the ’01 crash. My father, who had been a contractor, said for me to try it out when I showed interest. I had seen what residential housing was about – camaraderie, family, and being together, which resonated with me. The rest is history.
How do you make money?
You make money by empowering as many people as possible by creating more homeowners.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I was profitable as soon as I hired employee #1 -outside of my business partner and me. That was the beginning of empowering people.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I’ve always had the mentality that failure is not an option. It’s all in how you respond to opportunity. You’ll get a lot of tough breaks and all kinds of things will happen, but you have to make the best of all situations. Each day is a new opportunity for greatness; it’s all about perspective. Like anyone else, during the crash of ’08, there were moments where bankruptcy and foreclosure were on the doorsteps, but I believed in my vision and kept pushing forward. I’ve always believed in my heart of hearts that it would work out regardless and then put people in place that felt empowered in that same vision. Everything happens for a reason and everything works out even if I do not understand it. But I believed in our team, did not focus on doubt, and made the best of each opportunity.
How did you get your first customer?
It was a referral from my father.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
As Janine Driver says, be more interested than interesting.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Within our desire as an organization to go to the next level, we had to part with old processes, employees, and the people that got us to a certain point.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I believe it is the desire to leave the world a better place than I found it.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There are a couple that really resonate, but it comes back to empowering people. I am really satisfied with the things we have been able to accomplish together as a team here at Equity Prime Mortgage. It’s not just that we made it possible, but the mentality that we have had throughout. We’ve dedicated years of hard work to the vision we see and watching my team benefit from the hard work we’ve accomplished together has been amazing. This organization has impacted our business, our personal lives, and transformed us. Spending every formidable day in our walk of life building our vision together. Seeing that journey has been awesome.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future holds us moving towards the new guard of the new generation. I am excited about our evolution. For society, I’m excited that it’s changing to be more representative of how I grew up in that it looks diverse – not just in looks, but also in thought. Seeing challenges as an opportunity and the voices that can be a little louder in leading those opportunities, stepping up. This excites me!
What business books have inspired you?
There are a lot of books to talk about, but the most important one by far is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. In my opinion, it’s the greatest of all time because it’s about thinking and growing your mind in ways that define new ways of what success looks likes. When they talk about rich, it is not about wealth – that can be accomplished – but wealth in mindset. This book continues to inspire me each day.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I wouldn’t want to cause a ripple effect to change where I’m at today. With that in mind, the only advice that I would say is to keep doing what you’re doing. That’s it. I would say, you are on the right track even though it requires a thousand mistakes.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes! I would get them talking, listen to them, and dig to find their passion. When you are mentoring, you listen, find their passion, and then you help them unleash it. Listening is important.