SANTA ANA, CA—First American Title Insurance Co. has launched a comprehensive multilingual website and in-language video library to help multicultural consumers pursue homeownership and navigate the title and closing process in the US. The firm developed the website and video library in response to growing demand from multicultural and international communities, and it points up the increasing influence of foreign buyers in the US real estate market.
The site provides easy access to educational real estate videos and resources in six languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, catering to 78% of those who speak a language other than English at home.
According to Maria Valentin, VP, of First American Title, “The title and closing process in the US is very different than it is in the rest of the world, and many of our multicultural customers desire more familiarity with the process here. Multicultural buying power in the US is expected to increases significantly in the next few years.”
Valentin adds the firm’s multilingual website and video library aim to help bridge cultural, ethnic and language barriers and provide a valuable resource for individuals looking for information to help them get closer to attaining their homeownership dreams. “The six languages in which we currently offer the website were chosen because they represent those most often spoken in US homes where English is not the primary language.”
The website and videos cover buying or selling a home; what is title insurance?; 10 common title problems; types of title-insurance policies; cost of title insurance; history of title insurance; what is escrow?; understanding the good faith estimate; understanding the HUD-1 settlement statement; the title-search process; what is a 1031 exchange?; and the Homestead Act in Texas.
The program is part of a broader effort by First American Title to address the needs of multicultural markets. The firm provides educational materials in 20 languages to help consumers understand the title and closing process. Its multicultural services also include interactive workshops on cultural intelligence, designed to educate real estate professionals on how to best serve the real estate closing needs of multicultural communities.
As GlobeSt.com reported in June 2013 during RealShare Investment & Finance, foreign investors were noting “very attractive cap rates compared to what we see globally,” said Paige Mueller, managing director for RCLCO. “There’s a lot of construction happening in high-growth emerging markets.” Frederick Gortner, managing director of Paladin Realty, added, “There’s great growth in value-add for all foreign investors.” Stephan Kachani, VP of Lone Oak Fund, said we are seeing a lot more investment from Russia and Asia, and Qiu said that mainland China has become one of our most prominent investing countries.
Stay tuned for an interview with Maria Valentin about multicultural buyers’ influence on the Orange County market.