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.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
The idea came about the old-fashioned way. I tripped and stepped into it by accident. A hairdresser told my then-girlfriend, now wife, about the industry because her husband had jumped into it. That planted a seed for me. I had been a stockbroker and was just leaving that side of things. This was right after the ’01 crash. My father had been a contractor, working for builders, so I had seen what residential housing was about – camaraderie, family, and being together. He said to try it out, you will probably like it. After that, the rest is history. That’s what is great about this industry; it doesn’t take a degree to get started. It takes the right mindset and attitude. Anybody can get in. There is no schooling, outside of life, that you have to have. You get to start from the ground up and show what you can do. That is how we began this journey – being curious, researching more, and then believing we had the capability to do it.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The first thing I do every day starts with my mental health. I wake up at 4:20 every morning and head to the gym. For me, the gym is my mental health time. That time is for me to be with myself, which is important for my productivity. Once I finish at the gym, I come home for breakfast with my family to connect before the day gets going. I try to make the most of my time. I believe you always need to be on. I’m on from the moment I wake up until about 9 pm at night. It doesn’t matter what phase I’m on in my day, I’m on. I’m still a human above all but I try to do better today than yesterday.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Candor. That’s the only way to bring an idea to life. Any idea that comes from any person has to be refined through candor. You must speak up.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I like what this generation is doing with progress. Studies have shown they want to see that they are advancing every two years. I think that is good if they do not wrap themselves up in anxiety. Mental wellness and health are part of that trend. It’s good for people to see themselves on a track heading somewhere. It helps people feel connected to their life and is very positive. I like how this generation wants to see progress about every 2 years. This mentality keeps us pushing forward.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Going to the gym. Again, it is my time to be present with myself and work on my mental health. I spend about 2 to 3 hours a day on mental health. This helps me to stay centered so that I can be more productive throughout the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
This is a tough question for me because I wouldn’t want to cause a ripple effect and change where I’m at today. With that in mind, the only advice that I would say to a younger version of myself is to keep doing what you’re doing. That’s it! I would say to myself that you’re on the right track even though it requires a thousand mistakes. Keep going and pushing forward.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Politically because I’m very independent, I don’t fall into one camp or the other. I follow more of what I think is in the best interest of the US people. Thinking of the US as a business and knowing what the employees need. At times, you must listen to the greater good even if you might have a different philosophy. Differing views are good. I like it when the president is one party and congress is the other. It helps to have a diversity of thought. That is how we make real progress.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Every day before you leave for the day, you should jot down a to-do list of what you need to do the next day. It prepares you for a win. It’s not that you are worrying about tomorrow but preparing for its success. It makes you more powerful.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Knowing the right people to put where. I believe it was Steve Jobs who said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. This is my engrained belief system that I had to learn.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
here are many mistakes over the years; I could be on the Wheaties box of mistakes. However, my proudest mistake is not starting the process of lifting people up sooner. It really transformed how we operated as an organization once we had the realization that things had to be different for our quality of life. I should have started on this path years earlier, and I regret not going down this path sooner. It has allowed me to think of people and those who depend on them. It is easy for me to make a decision if 1,000 people are counting on me: it’s the greater good for all. We’re listening and adjusting and that’s how we overcome failure.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Get more involved with every association that helps expand knowledge to communities. Within the industry, I believe people should join NBA, NAHREP, NAGLREP, AAREA. Join any association that is real estate based and that have people at the table that can raise economic empowerment.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My children and I have a tradition of tipping someone $100.00. Just recently this happened at a local restaurant. Each of my children gets to decide who deserves a $100.00 tip based on kindness. Our waiter was very kind to us, and my daughter looked up at me and said, “let’s tip him big”. It matters because people should be rewarded for their efforts in being kind. We could all stand to be more kind. It is the best way to spend $100.00.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Outlook calendar: it helps me to stay organized and on task.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson. The core message of the book is that things constantly change so we must adapt. People who understand how to adapt are better equipped for success.
What is your favorite quote?
“Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity.” – Dr. Rick Rigsby
- Pay it forward
- Speak courageously,
- Always be true
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.