2018 The Way I See It…

Up, down, left or right, 2018 is going to be a year of growth and learning; use it wisely.

 

I know, I know, we are only a week in, but 2018 is already shaping up as an interesting year.

2017 was a down year, most companies spent the year “right sizing”. I see 2018 being a flat year. This is the year companies need to get efficient, that’s what we’re doing here at EPM.

We are taking the time to make our services more robust; we are making the process of connecting with our customers and potential customers easier.  We are working with all departments to continue education and reiterating that all departments are an extension of our sales team. There is the potential for a huge refinance boom and it’s key that all hands are on deck to assist customers who will look to us as their mortgage solution.

A flat year, is not a bad thing. There is always the opportunity to grow, regardless of the predictions. Look at where you are and how you can continue to develop the passion you have for your industry. Support your support staff, revamp your tech system, be detailed and don’t skip the small stuff; it all adds up.

As we move into second quarter, we will be looking to our analytics to confirm that our efforts are working and what needs tweaking.

Up, down, left or right, 2018 is going to be a year of growth and learning; use it wisely.

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage

What To Do When All Hell Breaks Loose…

The storm is a test of the soul of your company.

Copy of New TheMancusoWatch Teaser (19)

Last week we talked about the calm before the storm, because the storm is normally coming. This week let’s look at what happens when all hell breaks loose. “This is when I’m the calmest.”

The first rule: DON’T PANIC!

Extreme focus is required. There is little to no room for error and this is the part where you should be visualizing and preparing for the next steps. If this all sounds matter of fact, it is.

When the borrowers are calling concerned about the contractor who didn’t know to fill out the contingency repair form and blew the terms of the loan, or the underwriter didn’t check if the borrower owned the property, or the market bottoms out (again); this is when you see who’s who.

The storm is a test of the soul of your company.

You learn who’s with you and who’s ready to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. Who gets the vision and who can navigate this time with you to help you find the next calm. Are you being asked for recommendation letters, are the meetings overly contentious?  When you take the temperature of the “Top Four”; consumers, employees, referrals and vendors, is everyone running hot?

For us, the remedy, is being humble and working as a unit. This is the time we ban together and look out for each other. We make the call that may not be ours to make. We go to the customer and knock on the door. We meet with solutions in mind.

We started in the storm, at a time when  Jamie Dimon was blaming brokers, lenders (the risky ones)  and LO’s,  my business partner and I went all in. We took the pulse of our team, they were all in and we’re all still here ten years later.

When it all goes left, remember the first rule and you’ll make it through with everything and everyone you need to weather the next go round.

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President Equity Prime Mortgage

What To Do When Everything Is “OK”

“Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.”

-Warren Buffett

Everything is fine, nothing is blowing up, fires are out and you actually got to finish your cup of coffee. Now what?

Honestly, this is the time where “I’m most fearful.”  You shouldn’t live your life in a panic, you should, however, be looking for the next move and listening to your market for the next trend/transition. In theory, we work to make things calm, we want our businesses to run efficiently, we never want them to run effortlessly.

Complacency is what happens when you get comfortable, comfortable happens when everything is “OK”. What is ok exactly? If your LO’s or Sales team are OK, you may want to rethink some things, should your CIO be just OK? Ours isn’t, he’s on top of the market at all times.

We like to take this time to see what opportunities are ahead of us, are there some extra hours that can be put in now, to give us an edge when all hell breaks loose?  When the calm is happening look for space to self-evaluate, have you taken all the leadership training classes you could? Is there a management seminar that you’ve been wanting to get to?

Warren Buffett has a quote that occurs to me often “Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.” It may sound harsh, but before the crash when people were getting real estate advice from the paperboy, Buffett was paying attention to the calm. He saw the crash coming and grabbed stock in GE and Goldman Sachs, he knew they would pay off when the smoke cleared.

We knew starting a company in the middle of a crash was the sweet spot; we steadied ourselves and rode the storm into the calm. Things will slow down fast, people will forget what they were doing and relax the passion. We use times like this to reconstruct, look at our time management and steady ourselves before the storm comes back around.

As you’re moving through your day to day, let everything be ok, but trade in your vacation tickets for a training session and keep the rate sheet within arms reach.

 

Eddy Perez, CMB

President, Equity Prime Mortgage

Human Capital Is Good

If you rate human interaction a -5, in the interview, you’re probably not going to be a good fit for us.

Human capital 2

While this could definitely be the title to Tom Cruise’s next Sci-fi movie; human capital is really not a bad thing. Capital is a type of asset that allows a business to make more money and further its goals. When you add the human element you get people who are invested in your business and ultimately their own success.

From your HR Director to your CFO the goals have to be the same, even if the path is different. We’ve talked about this in some past posts. Like minded people are overrated. The idea is to find the right fit and have people working towards the common goal and good of the company.

Our HR Director looks for people who will work well with-in our culture, a culture that we have worked hard to cultivate. It may sound simple, but bagel Friday’s is a thing we do here at EPM. The bagel announcement goes out and that brings everyone into the break room; underwriters, closers and LO’s are coming together to talk with each other. This is the time we find out about each others weekend plans, what movies  we are going to watch, what DIY projects are we prepping. The simple act of communication is probably one of the most important elements of Human Capital. If you rate human interaction a -5, in the interview, you’re probably not going to be a good fit for us.

Businesses run off people, people run off support and creativity. Human Capital is about business.  As you’re setting yourself up for success remember the basics and you can’t go wrong. Human Capital is a good thing.

 

Eddy Perez, 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