First American Launches New Marketing Program to Reach Asian-American Community

—San Francisco Bay Area Initiative Designed to Remove Cultural Barriers and Facilitate Home Buying in Growing Market Segment—


October 11, 2004, SAN FRANCISCO

First American Title Insurance Company today announced the launch of a new marketing program designed to address the home buying needs of the Asian-American community in San Francisco.  A press briefing on the program will be held Tuesday, Oct.12 at 4 p.m. PDT at Yet Wah Restaurant, 2140 Clement St. in San Francisco.  The briefing will be followed by a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, celebrating the launch of the San Francisco Chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), a partner organization of First American.  

The Asian marketing program is part of First American Title’s broader Bay Area Diversity Marketing Program, launched in late 2003 initially to address the Latino community.  The Asian marketing segment will focus first on the Chinese community and later expand into the Filipino and Vietnamese communities in and around San Francisco.  Working with AREAA real estate professionals who specialize in serving the Asian community, First American will conduct educational events and outreach programs such as seminars and homebuyer fairs to assist consumers who are interested in homeownership, but who have been hindered in the past by cultural barriers or by a limited understanding of how to purchase a home. 

“Surveys from lending institutions and real estate groups have shown that one of the biggest barriers to homeownership in the Asian-American community is a lack of education regarding the home-buying process,” said Pablo Wong, director of diversity marketing for First American Title’s Bay Area region. “We want to help remedy that situation and become a trusted advisor to Asian families who are interested in real estate.”

One of the fastest-growing population segments in the U.S, Asian Americans currently comprise more than 1.2 million or roughly 18 percent of the population in the Bay Area.  Furthermore, Asian Americans are among the most active homebuyers in the region.  According to an August 2004 report compiled by First American Real Estate Solutions, 17 of the top 20 residential buyer surnames in the city and county of San Francisco in 2003 belonged to persons of Asian descent. Yet, only 55 percent of Bay Area Asian-American families are homeowners, compared to 70 percent among non-minority households.

“We applaud First American’s efforts to promote homeownership for all Americans and appreciate its support of our organization,” said John Yen Wong, president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. “AREAA is committed to enhancing business opportunities for real estate professionals serving Asian Americans, and to promoting homeownership opportunities throughout the Asian-American communities.  We look forward to growing our relationship with First American and to helping strengthen the communities we serve through the creation of new homeowners.” 

First American Title’s Bay Area Diversity Marketing Program is aligned with The First American Corporation’s Emerging Markets Initiative, launched in October 2003 to promote home buying among African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.  The initiative includes philanthropic giving and investment programs, the development of alternative credit-screening products and discounted settlement services bundles, and an increased commitment to workforce and vendor diversity at First American.  The five-year, multimillion dollar program, which is endorsed by The Greenlining Institute—a multiethnic coalition that promotes homeownership and inner-city economic development—was received positively at its introduction by representatives from Fannie Mae, AREAA, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.

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 nearly 1,200 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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