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First American Title is evaluating third-party integrations that will allow it to continue expanding the capabilities of its new collaborative platform for title agents, PRISM, beyond title insurance.
Launched in August, the PRISM platform lets lenders and real estate agents get quotes for title insurance and settlement fees or order title without calling their title agents. The platform also gives real estate agents access to co-branded or white-labeled seller net sheets, buyer estimates, refinance quotes, marketing materials and property reports.
That PRISM could play an even broader role in facilitating home sales became evident in September, when paymints.io announced its integration into the PRISM platform. Integration with paymints.io eliminates the need for paper checks by allowing title and real estate agents to request and receive electronic disbursement of earnest money and cash-to-close funds within the platform.
PRISM is also integrated with DataTree, a database of property and homeowner information; and Agent Print Pro, which provides customizable marketing materials.
Now First American says it’s looking at additional third-party integrations as well as providing more of its own products and services through PRISM.
“We’re currently evaluating several integrations that will simplify the real estate transaction from the point of sale all the way to the actual signing and handing over the keys,” said Trey Dirks, vice president of product and information technology at First American Title, in a blog post Thursday.
Next year Dirks said there are plans to integrate First American’s digital closing options, including eSign and remote online notarization into PRISM, as well as geo farming and other marketing tools.
Dirks said that as a front-end portal for much of First American’s internal title and escrow technologies, the PRISM platform provides access to the company’s public records data, accelerating closings for lenders, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.
“Rather than having multiple subscriptions and conducting extensive public records research, the PRISM platform pulls everything together into a single portal,” Dirks said. “Quick and easy access to property data helps real estate professionals and their customers better understand neighborhoods, schools, and anything else that might impact closing upfront.”
Since 2019, First American has made direct investments in 16 venture-funded proptech companies, while also scaling up its digital title and settlement services subsidiary Endpoint, which uses artificial intelligence to streamline document submissions and expedite processes.
“As real estate transactions become increasingly digital, we are leveraging our unique data assets and technology to enhance the customer experience and to make the settlement process more efficient for all parties,” former First American Financial CEO Dennis Gilmore said of the initiative last year.
Rivals Fidelity National Financial and Stewart Information Services are also investing heavily in end-to-end tools that will help them build ties with real estate agents and lenders.
Fidelity’s real estate technology companies include SoftPro, a provider of closing, title, and escrow software solutions; NextAce, a pioneer in automating title search and examination; ServiceLink Auction, a full-service auction platform for short sales and foreclosed homes; CINC (Commissions Inc.) a provider of real estate marketing and CRM software for real estate agents and brokers; Real Geeks, a lead generation and management solution for real estate agents; and SkySlope, a digital transaction management platform for real estate brokerages.
Stewart has acquired a stable of companies that provide ancillary services, including appraisal management services, search and valuation, and online notarization and closing solutions. Last year, Stewart closed a $192 million deal to acquire data and analytics provider Informative Research and a $175 million acquisition of property data aggregator PropStream.
While title insurers are investing in technology, some tech companies are also hoping to give title insurers a run for their money. SingleSource Property Solutions and Voxtur launched an alternative to title insurance in August, Attorney Conclusion of Title, that’s designed with new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines in mind.
United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) — which surpassed Rocket Mortgage during the third quarter to become the nation’s largest lender — is also hiring and training attorneys to generate attorney opinion letters in-house to save consumers the cost of obtaining lender’s title insurance.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that Dennis Gilmore is First American Financial’s former CEO. Gilmore was succeeded as CEO by Ken DeGiorgio in February, and now serves as chairman of the board.