First American Title Launches Diversity Program in Houston

—Panel Discussion to Feature Houston Real Estate Industry’sMost Influential Emerging Market Leaders—


September 28, 2005, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company today announced the launch of a new diversity marketing program in Houston designed to help increase homeownership opportunities among Houston’s Latino, Asian American and African American communities.  This program will address the specific needs of minority homebuyers by assisting real estate practitioners in better serving these traditionally under-served communities. 

To kickoff the campaign, First American’s Houston office will host a panel discussion on the state of Houston’s housing market and economy, featuring several of the area’s most influential real estate industry leaders, including: Kenneth Li, past president of the Asian American Real Estate Association; Ed Gonzales, president of the Real Estate Association of Latinos; Olga Garza, president of the Houston chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; Bryther Copes, president of the Houston Real Estate Association; economist Mike Inselmann, co-founder/president of Metrostudy; and Jeff Smith, executive director of the Houston Housing and Finance Corporation.

The event, intended for real estate agents and mortgage lenders, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Founders Room, 800 Bagby Street, Houston, and will be directly followed by a networking reception. 

The Houston kickoff marks the extension of First American’s Emerging Markets Program—a comprehensive plan helping to increase home sales to Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American and other traditionally under-served consumer segments—into Texas. The program has been highly successful in California and has begun to take root in other key regions across the United States.   

According to the U.S. Census, Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans are the fastest growing segment of homebuyers in the nation.  First American has set the goal of becoming the leading provider of title insurance and real estate information services to this growth segment.  

First American’s Houston diversity program will help breakdown the cultural and financial education barriers that often arise when members of minority communities enter the homebuying process.  It is comprised of consumer-focused outreach and educational events, specialized programs for real estate professionals and the hiring and training of key First American staff to better service ethnically diverse communities.

“Homeownership is a first step toward true financial security and wealth-building for most Americans, but in many minority communities, common barriers—such as financial literacy and credit issues—often make homeownership seem unattainable” said Jessica S. Verduzco, regional director of Emerging Markets for First American Title Insurance Company.  “Working alongside our industry partners, we hope to help create thousands of new homeowners in the Houston area, strengthening our communities and establishing First American as a trusted advisor among a new generation of homeowners.” 

The Houston program will operate in conjunction with The First American Corporation’s broader Emerging Markets Program, a corporate-wide commitment launched in 2003 to promote an increase in home sales to traditionally under-served consumer segments.  Combining multicultural sales and marketing strategies with industry alliances, philanthropic giving/investment and an increased commitment to management and workforce diversity at First American, the multiyear, multimillion dollar program is designed to help First American capture additional market share by offering innovative solutions to common barriers to homebuying.

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 1,700 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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