FIRST AMERICAN PARTNERS WITH MARKETLINX TO CREATE NATION’S LARGEST WEB-BASED MLS SOFTWARE PROVIDER

—Productivity Solutions Give Brokers and Their Agents Greater Power—


May 8, 2002, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services, today announced it has acquired an equity ownership interest in MarketLinx Solutions, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based multiple listing service (MLS) software company.

In exchange for an undisclosed ownership interest in MarketLinx, First American will merge its Fusion MLS business with MarketLinx’s MLS operations to create the nation’s largest provider of Web-based MLS software and services. Brokers and their agents will benefit from the powerful productivity tools that reduce cycle times by streamlining the transaction processes—giving them more time to serve current customers, while marketing themselves to new ones. These Web-based solutions are designed to help real estate brokers recruit and retain top agents, while dramatically reducing the costs traditionally borne by real estate professionals to maintain traditional legacy software systems. 

“As the nation’s largest real estate information provider, First American is continually seeking new and more efficient channels through which to deliver our products,” said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Corporation. “Combining First American’s MLS business with MarketLinx enables us to provide superior MLS solutions and related information directly to the desktops of the nation’s high-producing brokers and agents.”

Fusion MLS and MarketLinx are both easy-to-use Internet-based MLS systems that include marketing, productivity, financial and communications tools to assist real estate professionals in obtaining new listings, marketing properties for sale, and scheduling and managing the closing process.

“Our customers have been seeking choices that would combine our flexible Internet MLS service with world-class data and transaction management,” said Doyal Hodge, president and chief executive officer of MarketLinx. “Through this partnership with First American, we gain access to the nation’s most comprehensive property information database and a technology platform that helps to speed home sale transactions; a combination that allows us to simplify the typically cumbersome practice of purchasing and integrating timely data needed by MLS organizations.”

“First American and MarketLinx now serve more than 50 percent of the fast-growing, Web-based MLS market, which offers significant cost advantages to the legacy software systems provided by other MLS service providers,” said George Livermore, president of First American Real Estate Solutions (RES). “MarketLinx’s strength in the Web-based MLS market, combined with RES’ reputation for data quality, gives us the opportunity to deliver our real estate data, maps, document images and automated valuation models through a far more integrated and convenient approach.”

Livermore added: “We believe that real estate professionals should have the freedom to choose the software and systems that work best for them. With that in mind, First American will continue to incorporate its data and services with open systems that give brokers and their agents the ability to remain flexible and attentive to their customers.”

As part of the partnership agreement, First American also licensed proprietary real estate transaction management technology to MarketLinx. Additionally, First American will provide MarketLinx with a direct connection to First American RES’ comprehensive property and ownership data repository and associated products including Realist.com, a Web-based delivery system specifically designed to meet the needs of MLS organizations. 

About The First American Corporation

The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information, the company supplies businesses and consumers with the information resources that affect the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within seven primary business segments including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Trust and Other Services, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $3.75 billion in 2001, First American has more than 22,500 employees in approximately 1,300 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

About First American RES

First American RES is the nation’s largest provider of advanced property information and applications for use by real estate and mortgage finance companies to help consumers and businesses buy and sell real estate, value residential and commercial properties, study real estate trends and neighborhood characteristics, and identify consumer prospects for financing, insurance and home improvement services. More information on First American RES can be found at www.firstamres.com.

About MarketLinx Solutions

MarketLinx began operating as a privately held company in 1996. Having launched the country’s first successful stand-alone, browser-based system for a major Multiple Listing Service in 1997, MarketLinx  has continued to grow by building on its experience as the developer of TEMPO™ software.  MarketLinx’s TEMPOÔ software is currently used by more major MLSs than any other browser-based software system.  The company’s proven, complete and adaptable services are designed for real estate markets worldwide.   More information on MarketLinx Solutions can be found at www.marketlinx.com.

 

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