FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY LAUNCHES NATIONAL VACATION OWNERSHIP DIVISION
August 14, 2000, SANTA ANA, Calif.
Using First American’s advanced FAST e-commerce systems to process and deliver the company’s broad array of products and services, the new vacation ownership division can close transactions anywhere in the country. First American is also developing new software and Web-enabled processes that will accommodate the high-volume transactions typical of vacation ownership properties.
A recent survey conducted by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) – the timeshare industry trade association – reports that the vacation ownership/timeshare industry, with more than $3 billion in sales in the United States, and global sales estimated at $6 billion, is growing at nearly 14 percent annually. First American is positioned to be a full-service provider to this industry and expects to capture a significant portion of this market.
“As our clients are expanding into new markets, we are committed to providing them with the products and services they need through a single point of contact,” said Chris Hermann, vice president and western region director of First American’s national vacation ownership division. “Vacation resort properties offer unique challenges and our specialized staff will continue to provide innovative and custom-tailored solutions that meet the needs of some of the world’s largest resort developers.
“The high-volume nature of vacation ownership transactions is ideal for the automated title, escrow and inventory control process,” added Hermann. “We are very close to making this part of the business a truly paperless process.”
“The new vacation ownership division will coordinate its business development and underwriting efforts with First American’s national commercial division,” said Gary L. Kermott, president of First American Title. “By leveraging First American’s investments in technology, the vacation resort division will have many tools at its disposal to ensure efficient and prompt service to its customers.”
“We in the vacation ownership business are pleased about the increased commitment of First American Title to our industry,” said Robert A. Miller, president of Marriott Leisure and chairman of the board of directors of ARDA. “First American recently became a trustee member of ARDA, and we welcome them aboard as an important national vendor of title insurance and other timeshare support services.”
Robert J. Webb, president of Island One, Inc., added: “As a practicing real estate lawyer for the past 20 years, I have found First American Title to be a valuable resource in complex land deals. Now that I am a timeshare developer, it’s good to know that I can turn to First American for sophisticated vacation ownership services anywhere I do business in the United States.”
The new division will provide support from two operational centers: a west coast region, based in Palm Desert, Calif., and managed by Hermann; and an east coast region, based in Orlando, Fla., and managed by Mitch Corriveau, vice president and eastern region director for First American’s national vacation ownership division. From the two regional offices, the new division will coordinate all vacation ownership transactions. The division will also provide training and assistance to First American’s international network of offices to ensure expert service with local knowledge of the unique title and escrow challenges the industry faces, state-by-state and overseas.
First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through more than 800 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. Information about The First American Corporation's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.
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