Eddy Perez, president and CEO of Equity Prime Mortgage, made a virtual visit for the Wednesday, May 20 episode of the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series. Perez and series host Andrew Berman, head of engagement and outreach for National Mortgage Professional magazine, discussed how the coronavirus has impacted his company, trends he's seeing in the industry and more.
Perez oversees overall operations, sales, revenue, marketing, compliance and technology for Atlanta-based Equity Prime Mortgage. He was recognized as one of National Mortgage Professional magazine’s "40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals under 40," as one of the top mortgage bankers in the industry.
In 2008, he operated the top producing office for Global Mortgage Inc. He earned the Certified Mortgage Banker designation 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.
The big difference Perez sees between the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic is how the mortgage industry is perceived. Back then, he said, the industry made a lot of mistakes and consumers were treated badly in some cases. “Now we’re showing we’re providing relief to the consumers. We’ve gone from the villains to heroes,” he observed.
Highlights From The Interview With Perez
►During the pandemic, Perez said he wants people out of their comfort zones. He told his employees he wants them to do more video. “Ninety percent of it is just going there and being authentic. Nobody wants the perfect video like we did as kids,” he said.
►Perez says it will be important for mortgage brokers coming out of COVID-19 conditions to focus on technology. It was an issue within Equity Prime Mortgage. He candidly called the company’s technology “a little archaic.” In a fortuitous stroke of timing, Equity Prime has retained the services of a chief technology officer. “He’s not an IT person. He’s a technology. We are trying to streamline our technology,” Perez said, adding that employees are a key part with input provided through advisory boards. He is using this time as an opportunity with his employees to practice blameless problem solving. “We assumed things were getting done.”
►Along those same lines, Perez also said his company will work on improving its communications moving forward. “There is no such thing as too much communication,” he said. However, Equity Prime was relying too much on technology for its communication. “It wasn’t happening like it should,” he said, adding that he’s reinforcing to his originators they need to be using old-fashion phone calls, as well as texts, to stay in touch. E-mail isn’t as effective for interpersonal relationships.
►Perez has an upbeat approach to leadership. “In life if you want to lead people, you have to stop being interesting, but become interested. You have to see where you can assist people. You have to eat humble pie sometimes.”
►Loan originators should also see the pandemic as an opportunity to define their careers. Pereze said technology like Zoom can help originators build relationships with Realtors hours away. “I’ve never seen as good an opportunity. This is the best time,” Perez said.
Previous guests in the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series include Ted Tozer, Mat Ishbia, Barry Habib, David H. Stevens, Rob Chrisman and more. See all the interviews from the Mortgage Leadership Outlook series on its YouTube channel.
Check out the full discussion between Perez and Berman below.