The Biggest Business Takeaway From 2017

Being engaged has allowed us to focus on what’s important.

The year is coming to an end; we love new beginnings here at EPM.

I was recently asked what is my biggest business takeaway from 2017? I answered with one word, Engage.

You can re-engage, get engaged or just remain engaged, but this year was a down year, we saw a 30-40% drop in the market overall and had we not been engaged, it could have been worse.

The year wasn’t all bad, we saw growth, but challenges can be masked by volume. We hunkered down and engaged our sales, closing, underwriting and referral partners.

We have had conversations with our sales team and used their information as a gage on how to grow our customer base. They needed support and lead generation, we hired a Lead Generation Specialist, she is doing a great job moving us forward. Our conversations with our closers and underwriters led us to re-examine our processes and become quicker and more efficient. We have engaged our customers on our social platforms and are listening for social cues. We are launching new products to connect with potential borrowers.

We are re-thinking what we may have forgotten and trusting what we know about fluctuating rates and the mortgage industry.

Being engaged has allowed us to focus on what’s important.

Hopefully engaging will push you and your business into the New Year with all the momentum that you need to get to your next set of goals.

Salud and Happy Holiday’s Friends!

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage

 

The One Question I Get Asked All The time…

the one question

There is also a clear understanding that what is asked of them, is what I ask of myself.

Last week we talked about the one question that I’m never asked.

This week, I want to talk about the question I’m asked the most.

Be advised the following may seem simple, however when asked this question, it occurs to me how the little things play a large part in how we see ourselves and are perceived by others.

Ok, the question…

Why are you dressed so nicely today?

In fairness, I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy, but enjoy this question because it means that the time taken to coordinate the shirt, jacket and pants was worth it (I typically don’t wear a tie). We work closely here, so when the team notices the presentation, they are aware that a front facing company experience is about to occur.

There is also a clear understanding that what is asked of them is what I ask of myself.

Your style can set the tone. Over these last ten years we have worked hard to make sure that we are more than just a place to buy a home, but are mortgage loan professionals who are knowledgeable and a great resource for our customer’s mortgage needs.

Our appearance is a testament to where we’re going and who we will and want to be; more importantly, this question means that through our appearance people are paying attention. My Suits are an extension of how I see our company growing and the respect that we have for our team, clients and business partners.

Think about how often what you are wearing has impacted how you feel going into a meeting, or interview. You must be ready for anything and your appearance is often the indicator of what you’re prepared to receive.

For such a simple question, the answer is important and impactful and every time I hear it, I  know that we are headed in the right direction.

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage

4 Things That Will Get You Back In The Black, Or Keep You There…

Sell your business and get out now, if mediocrity speaks to you.

 Black friday sale neon background

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

We hope you all had a great time with your family and friends. We here at EPM took the day to eat, drink, be merry and thankful for how far we’ve come. As the year ends, I thought today was good as any to talk about getting back in the black (or staying there).

It’s Black Friday. Today is the day retailers look forward to most of the year, they get to spend the next 30-45 days, or more, raking in the dough. Budgets are met and made up for, while the New Year gets a great kick into gear.

There are four key things that need to happen in your business at this time. We touched on it briefly in my last post, but today I’ll expand.

You need an action plan of embracement not just x’s and o’s.

 

  1. Sales, sales, sales. Your entire company is an extension of your sales team, period. If you don’t get this then you have a different problem. If you get this, then you know that your team needs to be trained in the art of customer service. Everyone should know they are the “face” of the company. Each opportunity to interact with a customer is a chance to extend the brand and sale your services. We thrive on sales and act accordingly.

 

  1. Support. The best sales teams are the ones that have the education and training to stay the best. From Underwriting to Marketing, we train. In the mortgage business MLO’s are required to be licensed, we don’t stop there and neither should you. Here at EPM we make sure that everyone can be the best regardless of title. There are seminars, collaboratives, and the freedom to explore options that may not fall under the traditional education model. There are some companies, that rarely need to look outside to fill key positions, because those in house are up to the challenge. They grow because they can continue to bring in smart, trainable people who are up to the task.

 

  1. Growth. If you’re not growing, why are you in business? Your goal may not be to become the next Bill Gates, it doesn’t have to be, but to settle for middle ground? No way. Sell your business and get out now, if mediocrity speaks to you. After supporting, training, and taking care of the “Big Four” (Clients, Consumers, Vendors and Employees) recruiting is the logical next step. A growth environment where people can help themselves allows your company to shine. Don’t just meet growth projections, beat them, give your customers and the competition something to think about.

 

  1. Explain The Why. The WHY is everything. Many people in upper management don’t get this, and their turnover rates tell the story. If no one gets why we have a financing minimum, customers who don’t meet the criteria, tell customers who do, that we didn’t help them. If processors don’t understand why we do such a deep dive into credit etc., then borrowers are denied. I could go on, but explaining the why has greater consequences than angry customers. If your team doesn’t get The Why, your company is being underserved and your employee’s skills under-utilized. The Why, makes people think beyond what is in front of them. The Why encourages greatness. You’re not too good to explain it and if it’s too complicated, adjust it and make sure everyone can understand. The Why is what matters most.

 

 

As we move into 2018, there are some uncertainties, but what should never be uncertain is how to get your company in pace to the top and in the black.

 

Eddy Perez Jr., CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage

10 Years In: What I Know Now

The truth, I could write a few books on what we knew and what we know now, let’s start at the beginning.

About ten years ago there was a crash, you may have heard about it. The bottom fell out of the housing market and if you took the smart bet, you got as far away from real estate as you could. Lucky for us, we were stupid, naive enough to take the leap into the mortgage banking industry.

A little nativity is the secret to success…

Knowing all the dangers and being over prepared can keep you from taking the leap; people were sending me articles and pulling me aside to talk me out of the best decision of my life; starting Equity Prime.

We have grown to be respected and seen as a leader in our field, because we knew that what we were building was worth the ups and downs that came with the ride. We knew the value of human capital and made choices to hire people who were a good fit over people who may have been better qualified.

We grew our sales when the market was down, over 400%. Sales leaders like Steve Tiscione and Jason Callan, were instrumental. Kimberly Vaughn and her underwriting team are invaluable. Our COO, David Abrahamson and VP of our Buckhead office Nick Tantanella have been here since our early inception.

We took the risks together.

The ride included those who had their own personal agendas and were not in it for the right reasons, which opened the door for others to reach the next level. We branded and re-branded and continue to brand. All in all we are a company built on the understanding that there is nothing beyond our reach.

I’m not going to give it all away, there is more to come, as we approach 2018, we will expand on this topic at length. For now, let your gut be your guide.

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage