First American To Invest In Real Estate Internet Firm


April 5, 2000, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services, and RE3W, Inc., a new real estate Internet company, announced jointly today that First American Financial's board of directors has approved an investment of up to $1 million in RE3W, Inc.

RE3W, founded by veteran real estate broker Richard Frost, has already attracted some of the nation's most successful real estate investors and developers including, Bruce Akins, Steve Hopkins, James Knapp, William McFarland and Henry Segerstrom, along with Mario Rosati, partner of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, and counsel to a number of prominent Internet and technology companies. RE3W will operate principally from its Web sites www.RE3W.com and www.RealEstateWorldWideWeb.com.

"RE3W.com is being developed to reduce the risk and expense for commercial developers, investors and tenants by bringing together the best of the commercial real estate transaction process in one location and offering all the tools and information necessary to originate, negotiate and conclude commercial, industrial, multifamily, hotel and residential developer real estate transactions online," said Frost.

"We are excited by the opportunity to take part in this venture," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of First American Financial. "As part of the worldwide real estate industry, our company continues to be involved in the evolution of Internet-related real estate and information services."

Kennedy continued: "RE3W.com's globalization strategy also complements our existing efforts to standardize real estate transactions and introduce to the rest of the world the efficient land titling system that has become the standard in the United States. We have already found great success in Canada, where we hold more than 90 percent of the title insurance market share, as well as Western Europe and parts of Asia."

Frost is currently negotiating with several additional strategic investors from the real estate industry as he concludes funding of $5 million in equity capital to develop RE3W.com, which he expects to roll out this fall.

"Industry involvement is essential to ensure the success of RE3W.com, and we are in active negotiations with some of the largest and most influential companies from various segments of the commercial real estate industry," said Frost. "First American's investment sends out a strong message that we have something here of real value."

RE3W.com will be a transaction-based Web site. Unlike many other real estate-related Web sites that simply catalog properties and provide links to interested parties, RE3W.com will integrate First American's back-end systems to provide users with interactive access to property data, credit information, and mortgage origination and escrow closing services. The companies are currently working to integrate technologies that will allow a seamless delivery of First American's full menu of real estate-related products and services to RE3W's users.

"Real estate is a worldwide business and RE3W.com will be a worldwide resource for all participants in the industry," added Frost. "As a strategic investor First American is providing capital to develop the Web site, as well as the company's vast resource of data, which will be a critical component of RE3W.com's global range of information services."

RE3W, Inc., based in Costa Mesa, Calif., was founded by Richard Frost, an industry veteran who brings more than 30 years of commercial real estate industry experience to develop RE3W.com, the industry's first commercial real estate transactional Web site. Frost, a licensed real estate broker, began his real estate career in 1970 when he joined the Los Angeles office of Cushman & Wakefield as a consultant and then as a commercial real estate broker. Frost is the former cofounder of Frost Trinen Partners, one of Southern California's most highly regarded commercial real estate brokerage firms. Frost Trinen Partners was sold to Security Pacific Bank in 1989. Frost subsequently served as vice chairman and chief executive officer of Security Pacific Frost Trinen, Inc., and as the bank's broker in New York state for four years.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation's three primary business segments include: title insurance and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; property and casualty insurance; property and automotive insurance tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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