Changes at Lennar highlight the myriad ways technology impacts the building industry.
The Miami-based national builder announced in December that it is combining its subsidiary North American Title with a San Francisco based tech company, States Title. Lennar will combine its underwriter and the majority of its retail title business with States Title, and retain a minority equity stake.
States Title works in the burgeoning “insurtech” space. Its platform uses predictive analytics to underwrite title insurance policies. The platform pulls data from public and paid sources to draft documents. The company claims agents can underwrite 75% of properties instantly, and that loans are cleared by an average of 10 days faster.
“This transaction builds on our strategy of aligning with technology innovators to streamline and enhance the overall customer experience,” Eric Feder, senior Lennar executive, said in a statement. “Partnering with States Title keeps us at the forefront of innovation while maintaining the integrity of the title insurance that people have trusted us with for decades.”
Feder will join States Title’s board of directors. Max Simkoff, States Title’s founder and CEO, will remain in charge, and the rest of the management team will include States Title and North American Title leaders.
“By partnering with North American Title, we accelerate our shared vision to build the title company of the future,” Simkoff said in the statement. “Buying a home, and refinancing that home, are among the most important financial decisions in a person’s life. We believe that the experience of doing so should be fast, simple, safe and affordable. Title and settlement are critical to every real estate transaction. Modern technology and powerful analytics will supplement and enhance our associates’ ability to deliver outstanding service to every single one of our customers.”
The deal was expected to close in January 2019. If approved, States Title will acquire North American’s underwriter, North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC), and the majority of the retail business. Approximately two-thirds of the associates at North American Title will transfer to States Title, according to Lennar. The rest will remain with CalAtlantic Title, which will retain a portion of North American’s retail business and its builder business.