First American Residential Group Forms Strategic Marketing Agreement With C.A.R.

—First-of-its-Kind Partnership Will Allow WINForms® and ZipForm® Products to Interface with First American Services—


June 1, 2004, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Residential Group, Inc., a member of The First American Corporation family of companies, today announced the formation of a strategic marketing agreement with Real Estate Business Services, Inc. (REBS), a subsidiary of the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) and the leading provider of residential real estate forms and incentive items to Realtors®.  The agreement establishes First American as REBS’ first WINForms/ZipForm national software partner, enabling WINForms and ZipForm products to interface with First American’s Realtor-focused multiple listing service (MLS), transaction management, and title and escrow processing platforms.

The leading electronic real estate form systems in use today, the WINForms and ZipForm applications enable Realtors to collect and transfer information electronically in standardized state- and locally approved formats.  More than 135,000 C.A.R. members currently have access to WINForms. Realtor organizations in several other states including Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin are offering the parallel ZipForm product to their affiliates as a member benefit. There also are numerous local Realtor associations that offer ZipForm products to their members as a member benefit. 

Currently, more than 725,000 real estate professionals nationwide have access to either WINForms or ZipForm. High user adoption rates have established the applications as industry standards, making them a natural fit with First American’s industry-leading processing technologies. Nearly 200,000 real estate professionals are active users of either WINForms or ZipForm electronic forms software.

“Interfacing our services with the products and tools that Realtors know and use is crucial,” said Stephen C. Roney, president and chief executive officer of First American Residential Group, Inc.  “Our goal is to facilitate transactions by eliminating redundant data entry through seamless electronic connections between all the elements required to close a deal.  The best way to accomplish this is to interface the common data fields in our products with the most pervasive and widely accepted electronic forms products in the industry: WINForms and ZipForm.”

Under terms of the agreement, First American and REBS, through RE FormsNet, LLC—a joint venture owned by REBS and the National Association of REALTORS®—will create an interface between the WINForms and ZipForm applications and First American’s Transaction Manager, TEMPO MLS, and Agent First platforms during the first half of 2004.  Users of those platforms who likewise utilize WINForms or ZipForm will be able to exchange data and easily navigate between the compatible systems, increasing their efficiency and automating manual tasks while mitigating the risk of data-entry errors.

“First American has demonstrated an increasing commitment to providing tools and technology to aid Realtors, and we are proud to have them as our first WINForms/ZipForm national software partner,” said Mike Silvas, chairman of the board of REBS. “We look forward to a successful rollout of this initial phase and to future opportunities to expand this program.”

About First American Residential Group

First American Residential Group provides service, product solutions, outsourcing and technology to members of the real estate and relocation industries.  The company offers integrated solutions to real estate brokers and agents and the Associations and Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) that serve them to streamline the listing, financing, closing process and lead to increased efficiency and profitability.  Additionally, First American Residential Group is responsible for MarketLinx, the nation’s leading provider of MLS services and Relocation Advantage, a leading provider of closing management services to relocation companies.  First American Residential Group's product, outsourcing and technology solutions have been built specifically to meet today's real estate management needs.  For more information, visit: www.firstam.com/residential.

About Real Estate Business Services

Real Estate Business Services, Inc. is the leading provider of real estate products and services to California Realtors and the exclusive official supplier of premium incentive items for the National Association of REALTORS.  REBS parent organization, the California Association of REALTORS, is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 135,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate.  C.A.R. (www.car.org) is headquartered in Los Angeles.

REALTOR is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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