Feature release: create your own custom relationship categories

We receive a tonne of great suggestions via Uservoice - our online suggestion and voting platform - but if it were a popularity contest (which it kind of is…), this functionality would win hands down. You’ve told us want to be able to:

  • associate contacts to listings and properties in the way that suits your business best
  • see important details, such as if a listing is tenanted, at a glance
  • more easily include people like lawyers and mortgagees in possession in bulk communications

Well, our development team have listened and they agree. This is going to have a big impact on how your run your business, every day. So, we’ve extended our relationship category functionality to help you do all of the above and more. Not only can you now add custom contact relationship categories (such as Power of Attorney) to listing and property records in Rex, you can control how those categories behave. It’s a whole new level of customisation for your database. What does that mean? Allow us to explain…

“What’s in a name?”

Quite a bit, actually. Unlike Shakespeare’s rose, relationship categories aren’t just a label. How a contact is categorised determines where that contact will appear throughout Rex as well as how you communicate with them. Relationship categories also help keep your database clean and accurate by automatically transitioning the Owner of a listing record to be the Past Owner of the related property record when the listing is marked as sold. Same goes for the buyer. When you mark them as Purchaser on the listing record, Rex transitions them to be the New owner of the property record. With this feature release, you’re able to do even more. We’ve expanded on that pre-existing functionality so you can create your own custom relationship categories within Rex.

There’s a whole ream of benefits

The most obvious benefit of this functionality is saving time. You won’t have to dig around to work out who the buyer’s lawyer is, or if a listing is tenanted or owner occupied. It’s all there on the right hand pane of the record, under Related Contacts.

Related contacts

It also makes it much easier to include additional contacts in communications. For example, you can tell Rex to treat your newly created Power of Attorney custom category as an Owner - giving you the option to include them in bulk merges to listing owners. Their contact record will also appear in Rex wherever the true, legal owner appears. Anyone who jumps into a record will also get a much clearer view of nuanced client relationships such as Power of Attorney. Plus, the relationship transitions help make it far easier to keep your database in order.

How it works

To set up your first custom relationship category, jump into the main menu and click Custom Values, Tags & Mailing Lists, and then Relationship Categories. Click add relationship category and a dialogue will pop up. From here, give the new relationship category a name (like Power of Attorney) and a parent category: Owner, Past Owner, Tenant, Past Tenant or Other. For example, you would likely assign your new Power of Attorney custom category to the Owner parent category, as this person is essentially acting as the owner. You’ll also need to tell Rex what should happen when you mark the record as listed, sold or leased. For example, you might want to update the contact’s relationship to the property record, or remove it altogether. Read our help article for more information about setting up custom relationship categories.

A quick word about contact - contact relationships

When it comes to relationships between your contacts, you’ve always been able to create your own custom relationship types. Your agency might use FriendPartner or perhaps even In Law or something similar. This feature release doesn’t impact relationships between your contacts, because there is no such domino effect of relationship transitions. A successful sale doesn’t change the relationship between two contacts in your database. So, moving swiftly forward….

A few ideas to get you started

Here are some ideas for new relationship categories you might like to try:

  • Solicitor
  • Finance broker
  • Tenant
  • Power of Attorney

Designed your own workaround?

Rex users are a smart bunch, and a few of you have come up with your own ways of dealing with these types of relationships. We strongly recommend that you spend a bit of time removing past workarounds and getting the whole office across new custom relationship types. It’s going to save you lots of time in future. As we mentioned, this has been an incredibly popular feature request. That means scores of Uservoice votes have now been released into the wild, so if you voted for this functionality be sure to jump back in and vote on something new!

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