Photo by Jessica Hinkson

5 lessons in entrepreneurship from Mike Peregrina of Homie

Photo by Jessica Hinkson

Mekenna Malan interviews Mike Peregrina at a Utah Business Founder Friday event. | Photo by Jessica Hinkson

Once a month, Utah Business hosts Founder Friday, a free event showcasing the wisdom of one incredible Utah founder. In June, Kiln hosted the conversation between Mike Peregrina, co-founder and CEO of Homie, and Mekenna Malan, editor of Utah Business. Here are the top five things we learned.


1. Build a culture around core values.

Since its founding in 2015, Homie’s business strategy has changed several times—but it has always held the core idea of doing something noble. “Our management team is underpaid,” Peregrina admits, “But they stay because they are committed to the company’s cause and vision.” If you want to keep superstar talent, Peregrina recommends building leaders that think like owners. The rewards come as they work to build the tomorrow they want.

2. Beware of compromise.

At one point, Homie started hiring traditional real estate agents to keep up with the market. “That went against what we stood for. That went against what I stood for,” Peregrina says. “We were trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Don’t do that.” Instead, he recommends taking business a little slower and never compromising your core values. 

3. It’s all about the customer. 

“We sell more homes for more money faster,” Peregrina says. How? By putting customer needs first. The Homie team understands how stressful and confusing buying a home can be. That’s why they focus on educating homebuyers and leading them carefully through the process, a strategy that has helped them put “$140 million back in consumer’s pockets,” Peregrina says.

4. Build in Utah.

“If you’re building, you’ve got to build in Utah,” Peregrina says, referencing our community’s many resources for budding entrepreneurs and companies. Peregrina says new friends and mentors have reached out to help guide and support him during every step of his entrepreneurship journey. “I’m grateful to be in this state,” he says.

5. Ask for help.

Peregrina is no stranger to struggle or even failure. At 22, he filed for bankruptcy after a real estate venture failed during the 2008 Great Recession. “I shouldn’t be ashamed,” Peregrina says. “[Bankruptcy] made me who I am and prepared me for my wife, business and what was to come.” When Homie started, he knew to ask for all the help he could get. He claims this adage is true: Ask for advice, and they’ll give you money. Ask for money, and they’ll give you advice.

Savannah Beth Withers Taylor is the assistant editor of Utah Business and a graduate of the editing and publishing program at Brigham Young University. Beth has written content about travel, academics, and mental health for Stowaway magazine, BYU College of Humanities and United Way. She enjoys traveling, reading, eating, and mercilessly defeating loved ones in anything competitive.