Revolutionizing the Industry with AI Solutions

Despite all the many accomplishments Reliance has achieved over its first 20-plus years, there is one person in particular who remains fairly indifferent.

That would be CEO Sean McRae. It’s not that he isn’t proud of what he’s helped build, because he is. It’s more that he prefers to focus purely on looking forward, not back, and is beyond excited with the breadth of new company products specializing in artificial intelligence (AI).

“Our business is predicated on helping agents sell more homes with innovative technologies,” he says. “We are a client-focused organization. We work very, very closely with top agents, teams and brokers across the country to build custom applications that are designed around their business models.

“We’ve always been that client company behind the scenes, that intel inside large companies. Our roots back in 2001 were always in the enterprise space. That’s expanded quite dramatically over the last few years, developing and building products and technologies that are all about the client brand and company.”

32 Sean McRae Reliance

Today, more than 150 companies host their websites and CRM systems with Reliance, including franchise operations with hundreds of independently owned offices and more than 70,000 industry professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as luxury markets across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Reliance launched a new technology infrastructure in 2023, allowing for greater customization of applications to meet client needs. The company also focused on improving search engine optimization (SEO) for clients and has integrated AI-targeted social advertising into its platform, while priding itself on its customer service and the ability to quickly respond to client needs. Its unique approach to the hyperlocal marketplace also produces premier websites that deliver more SEO, drive more traffic and generate more leads and referrals. 

“We have major new AI initiatives underway right now,” says McRae. “We built a parallel platform next to the legacy platform with basically everything that would give us the ability to customize our applications to meet client needs and bring things to market much more quickly. We launched that last year, and 90% of it revolves around MLS data. We’re one of those last few enterprise-level developers that brings a high degree of customization, a luxury focus in terms of look and feel and design.”

McRae emphasizes that Reliance’s AI-powered tools are designed to help agents and brokers enhance their productivity, improve marketing strategies and ultimately sell more homes, with the company’s commitment to augmenting the work of real estate professionals rather than replacing them. 

Reliance COO Nick Villanti details some of what’s new and evolving.

“We’re bringing in an AI assistant within our application,” he explains. “So an agent can log in and maybe they want to rewrite or enhance their listing description. Maybe they’re looking to send an email, or maybe they’re trying to write content for a community page. When they start to engage with our AI companion, it will actually walk them through those steps, kind of like a chatbot. It’s going to ask specific questions like what do you want to write about? What’s your target audience?

“And based upon the categories and the questions, we will then utilize ChatGPT and services like that where we’re writing that content. We’re also going to incorporate things they don’t know to ask for. So if they’re writing an email, we’re going to give them a suggested subject. We’re going to give them suggested salutation, suggested call to actions. If they’re writing a content page, we’re going to give them the Meta title description, the H1 tag and things like that.”

McRae notes that Reliance’s target audience is primarily the bigger brokerage operations, but the company’s product line has expanded to the point where it can scale to the top teams and high-end individual agents. 

“I wouldn’t say this is for the everyday agents to just buy off the street per se, but if you look at the roughly 150 companies we work with today, most of them have hundreds if not thousands of agents,” he says. “Many are multi-regional, multi-state companies.”

Creating results-oriented websites

33 Nick Villanti

While AI has become a new and crucial aspect of the Reliance story, website design for real estate companies has been its foundational business and remains so.

“We design and build websites to tell your story, to create a market destination,” says McRae. 

“Our artists and designers blend the latest tech trends with beautiful art and precise design, offering a contemporary, minimalistic style that focuses on clean lines, ample white space, stunning imagery and video. It’s a hand-crafted approach to design that from a single glance will promote the quality of your brand and the services offered to consumers and agents alike.

“From having our creative designers and professional concierge assistants work hand in hand with clients, to choosing from our designer-crafted website templates, we help build the dream website. And with the industry’s most innovative content management software (CMS), the sky’s the limit for our personalizing web business.”

Reliance offers access to more than 100 beautiful, move-in-ready website designs with nearly limitless combinations for a stunning, personalized website.

Like any forward-thinking company, Reliance seeks input, including why clients chose to partner with them. “We always get a great list of responses,” says McRae. “One of our newest and largest clients, and one of real estate’s Top 5 companies, provided the following Top 10 list:”

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Speed to Market
  3. Luxury Design
  4. SEO
  5. Innovation
  6. Lead Generation
  7. Integration
  8. Security and ADA
  9. Value
  10. Partnership

Why such outstanding opinions? McRae insists it all begins with an exceptional work environment.

“I’m really passionate about our team,” he says. “We have an amazing culture here. I don’t think anybody has the level of tenure that we do. Most of our engineers have been with us for a minimum of five years. We have employees who have been with us almost since we opened our doors. We do not have attrition. We are a completely U.S.-based organization, and do not outsource anything overseas. We work very diligently to make sure we hire phenomenal engineers, and they’re taught the real estate industry. We have a simple question we ask all the time when we’re developing a product, and that is, ‘Will this help sell real estate?’”

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