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Why Mobile is Crucial to First American Title

The CIO of the title insurance company tells I&T that its core customers -- realtors and lenders -- require robust mobile capabilities.

With the growing demand for tedious processes to become quicker and paperless, title insurers must make ordering titles paperless and quicker for Realtors, lenders and their clients.

That's what Larry Godec, CIO of Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American Title Insurance Company has gleaned from research of the insurer's core customers. First American launched the myFirstAm application, for realtors and lenders to check title and escrow status, review documents pertaining to the request, and calculate estimated title insurance and closing fees, a year and a half ago on iOS. A new Android version was released last week because, he says, research revealed that nearly half of its potential users were on that mobile platform.

"We used a third-party marketing group and surveyed a handful of customers," Godec explains. "In essence, what it is they could use to make the whole closing transaction and the closing process more smooth and easier for the consumer. So we are very interested in hearing from them. We felt we really nailed it with this application on what it was they needed and make it easier for them to do their job and make it more efficient."

[Godec on the use of commodity hardware at First American]

All of First American's applications that are customer facing have a mobile component, Godec states. As for why, he cites the Realtor Technology Survey Report 2012 from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which indicated 94% of Realtors communicate with clients on mobile and they spend 44% of their time on their phones.

First American has applications specialized for different external clients that are variations of myFirstAm; however, they also have an internal strategy for different departments.

"We have some internal applications that only run on mobile devices because they are for our sales reps that are always on the road. So we have a very comprehensive strategy from a development standpoint and we're very proud of where we're at and where we're headed as far as our strategy," he says.

Zarna Patel is a staff writer for InformationWeek's Financial Services brands, which include Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology. She received her B.A. in English and journalism from Rutgers University College of Arts and Sciences in ... View Full Bio

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