First American Mortgage Solutions
First American has a long history of innovation in the real estate industry, which has netted an enormous breadth and depth of real estate data. Today the company is leveraging that data to empower mortgage lending and title and settlement service organizations to make informed business decisions to minimize risk, ensure compliance and discover new opportunities.
“One of the biggest surprises our customers experience is when they realize the enormous scope of property-centric data that First American offers. And when we combine this data with our turnkey mortgage solutions, we provide our customers with the data-driven opportunities to positively impact their business,” said Jim Portner, First American’s SVP for marketing and strategy, data division.
First American is the largest provider of real estate information in the country, with assessor data that spans over 99% of the U.S. housing stock, title plants in over 500 counties and more than 5.3 billion recorded land document images. Every day the company collects recorded land documents and property information from county offices and other proprietary resources across the nation.
The documents are scanned, keyed and undergo a multi-step QA process. Once in First American’s database, the property data is transformed into actionable information in the form of property information reports, online and mobile applications, custom data solutions and direct integration into customers’ production environments via XML.
“What’s most important to our customers is knowing with confidence that we have the current, accurate, property-centric data they need and that the data is useful — that it is delivered how they need it and when they need it,” Portner said. The concept of making the data it offers “useful” is what drives the solutions the company offers its clients in the lending and settlement services industries.
First American’s DataTree.com provides on-demand access to property information and recorded land documents. Users can simply perform a property search and instantly retrieve property characteristics, comparable sales data, transaction history, tax status and more, all with direct links to the available documents.
With First American’s Custom Data Solutions, lenders have the power to identify, mix and match and compile property data, mortgage and homeowner information, as well as document images.
“Given our expansive and unmatched set of data assets, we leverage our team of data experts, who work hand-in-hand with each customer to tailor the perfect solution that precisely achieves their unique business needs,” Portner said.
The company’s most frequent request is to take a customer’s existing in-house data and make it better by matching and appending additional data to provide a more complete profile of customers, properties or portfolios. Clients can also use the data to do estimates of market value, get listing information on when their houses are going on or off the market, and track list-price changes.
Through the company’s Data Trace title technology division, the company provides advanced real estate title search and support services that enable settlement services companies to quickly access and search hundreds of regional title databases.
“Our system is the largest and most innovative of its kind, delivering title history information, property tax assessment and payment data, document images and property profiles for major U.S. metropolitan areas. Title insurance underwriters nationwide rely on our real estate title insurance solutions to help them open and close more business, and improve customer service,” he said.
Customers further benefit from First American’s data through the integration of that data throughout the solutions the company offers. There is a common thread throughout all of First American’s data offerings, mortgage solutions and professional services — to help its customers deliver a defect-free mortgage.
“Our clients depend on us as a strategic source for property data and our full suite of solutions that span the spectrum of mortgage lending and title and settlement services. We’re uniquely positioned to help our clients solve problems and embrace new opportunities,” Portner said.