By Nathan Conz
As part of a larger effort to increase home ownership in Latino and Asian-American communities, Fidelity National Title Insurance, an underwriter for Fidelity National Financial (Jacksonville), has launched four new foreign language Web sites - in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. Fidelity National Title, along with FNF's other title insurance underwriters, issues approximately 29 percent of all title insurance policies in the United States. The sites are similar in content to Fidelity National Title's flagship Web site and provide access to information about real estate, escrow and title insurance as well as background on complicated industry terms. Translation for the sites was provided by Yamagata America (San Diego), the North American business arm of the Japan-based Yamagata Corporation. The sites are being marketed primarily through FNF's first line of customers -- real estate professionals and lenders.FNF senior vice president of market development Pablo Wong says FNF doesn't have the capacity to make all materials available in all languages, but that Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese were chosen for a variety of reasons.
Spanish, of course, is widely spoken. According to the 2005 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 32 million speakers of Spanish in the U.S.
Wong says that Chinese (2.3 million) and Vietnamese (1.1 million) speakers are also prevalent. The Korean site was added, instead of a Filipino site, based on the comparative needs of the two communities, Wong noted.
"The Korean market is smaller than the Filipino market. However, we learned through our research that most Filipino homebuyers can understand and read English. There's really a level of need that exists within the Korean community," Wong says.
The Web sites are part of a larger initiative by Fidelity National to increase home ownership in minority populations. The overall program also includes diversity training for employees, relationships with ethnic realty associations and training for real estate professionals.
While the sites could represent new business opportunities, Wong says that was not the driving force behind the four new Web sites. "The real estate professional or lender normally chooses the title company," he says.
Going forward, Fidelity National is looking to expand resources through similar initiatives in Indian and South Asian markets.