General American Reports Record Results
|April 11, 2002|
Expansion into real estate technology segments drives company to post increased revenues and share gains in competitive settlement services sector
PITTSBURGH, /PRNewswire/ -- General American Corporation, a leading technology solutions providers to the real estate settlement services industry, reported today that its 2001 revenues set new company records. Growth was realized in its core fulfillment services business and with new license agreements for its GATORS real estate technology. Speaking at the national sales conference for the company in Richmond, Va., Richard Snedden, President, announced that GAC reported record revenues for the year ending December 2001 of $70 million. Revenue sources included title insurance, appraisals, valuation reporting and vendor management services to the nation's mortgage lending industry. "The company doing well because the general real estate sector did well -- is only a small part of our story for last year. We not only took advantage of the robust housing and mortgage refinance markets, but we gained market share in absolute terms relative to other companies competing in the vendor management segment of the real estate services industry."
Dennis O'Donoghue, Executive Vice President spoke of the company's operational improvement from the previous year. His remarks pointed toward the improved labor efficiencies the company realized through consolidating back office functions and going from five (5) to three (3) processing centers. "We processed 21% more transactions and realized 12% greater sales per full time employee (FTE) in 2001 than the year before. That not only is a result of our eliminating under-performing operations, but increasing quality and having less service and product issues to work. Furthermore, our GATORS technology, which now automates many of the quality functions of our vendor management services, has taken hold and become very instrumental in allowing us to realize these types of productivity gains." O'Donoghue said he fully expects the company to continue meaningful increases in its key operating margins during 2002. Kevin McCarthy, the company's Chief Financial Officer, said that expense reductions of nearly 35% in travel and entertainment and 7% in line labor resulted in gains to net income during 2001.
New Streamline Products
Gaining share and new customers is no small task in the competitive real estate vendor management business. Snedden said that the move by some customers to lower costs by streamlining products and services was part of the motivation for the company launching its new QuickClose operations this year. The new unit provides a low cost, fast service solution for home equity lenders that require minimum underwriting documentation. Using the best operating and technology elements from its core business, the company introduced a hybrid, real estate settlement services operation that provides title information, document preparation and closing services. "It was absolutely what many customers needed to satisfy the demands of consumers who were often the banks' best customers who demanded lower closing costs and faster turnaround time on their loan requests," said Snedden. He added that it is likely the company would expand QuickClose this year, adding additional low cost, alternative title products, including some mortgage impairment-like services.
Source: General American Corporation