HubSpot Custom Objects: What we’ve learnt

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By Ryan Waters - September 15, 2021

The introduction of custom objects has created a variety of new possibilities with HubSpot. Your business has specific operations that need flexible data solutions to best extract value from your data. With custom objects, we’ve created data management systems that work for specific operations and help build businesses. And we’ve learned a lot. 

What are HubSpot Custom Objects? 

With HubSpot’s familiar standard objects the data management structure used by a business can include contacts, companies, deals, tickets and products, each with its own default properties. 

A customer’s details are recorded as a contact or company object with default properties such as name, email address, phone number etc. Deals and tickets are interactions between customers and your business while product objects store information about your business’s offerings. HubSpot allows users to easily create custom properties within objects simply by adding a label and specifying the data type (text, number, date etc.). 

Custom objects can be anything. 

With custom objects, the data structure of your HubSpot CRM can be exactly what it needs to be to best serve your business. Custom objects provide flexibility to businesses whose operations have outgrown the standard object functionality to more effectively manage their data. 

Custom objects are best used when no standard object fulfils the specific scenario’s data needs. Standard objects work with several automation features that simplify and enhance data management, meaning it’s imperative to know if custom objects are necessary before they’re employed in your data schema. 

How we’ve used custom objects 

Properties and rental units 

For a client in the rental property management field, we needed to develop a flexible data storage system for a complex data set. The aim was to enable the tracking of units within properties for multi-tenant occupancy rentals. Each property can contain multiple units. Each unit represents a contract with a contact that rents the unit. The landlord on the other hand is associated to the property. 

Standard objects in HubSpot are ideal for recording information on tenants - for instance, contact details and references - and landlords - like emergency contacts and banking particulars. Lease contract details are stored as standard deal objects, each associated with a tenant and landlord contact object. But to connect each tenant to the unit they’re renting and each landlord to the property they own we made custom objects called units and properties. The unit object can record details about the residence, like features and if pets are allowed or not, and is associated with a tenant contact. And, of course, needs to be re-associated with a new tenant at the end of the current tenant’s lease and the start of a new tenant’s stay in the unit. The property object records physical address, number of units and other data points and is associated with a landlord contact. 

The system gives each type of data set its own home and the result is a seamless rental data management solution. 

Gym memberships 

We’ve also implemented custom objects for a popular gym with multiple membership types.  

The data and the relationship between those data sets that needed to be recorded on members of a fitness gym required the use of custom objects to track each member’s membership details. 

A customer’s contact details are stored as a standard contact object. For the membership itself however, we created a custom object to record details on the membership contract. For each service, the gym offers like aerobics classes or personal training sessions we use standard product objects, which are associated with membership objects by way of deals. Attendance records were also best suited for a custom object. 

The final data storage product enables a more efficient back-end administration, an integrated web interface on services offered, automated contract notifications and easy to reference payment records. 

Theme park access control, memberships and events 

Tracking and storing data on access control, membership and park events also necessitated the use of custom objects for a theme park client who needs a powerful data reporting and management solution. 

The park needed to gather and store information on each visitor, like name and contact details recorded in contact objects, and what level of ticket they’ve purchased, recorded in product objects. Each visitor's transaction details are stored in deal objects. Custom objects were employed to record details on memberships like season passes, year passes and lifetime passes. Park events, including dates, programs and attendance is also recorded within a custom object of its own while the access control system at the park entrance feeds back information to the access control custom object in HubSpot to keep track of when a member’s pass is used. 

Large eCommerce merchants 

One of the UK’s leading online platforms for buying and selling fine wine and spirits needed a solution with powerful CRM to website and analytics capabilities. 

Our final creation included a custom object for the buyer’s account that could be associated with multiple contacts, like the buyer and anyone authorised to purchase on their behalf, such as spouses or personal assistants. Some customers also have multiple accounts, each for a different purpose (consuming, investing, storing and reselling), with the need for one contact to be associated to multiple Account records. Companies weren’t suited in this case, as the majority of purchasers were consumers, and not businesses, and as the associations between the Accounts and Contacts needs to be flexible. 

Enterprise device management and security 

For a company specialising in device management of enterprise computers and devices, we created a data management system to track quarterly customer service and account management calls. 

By creating custom objects for calls, account managers are able to dial the client from HubSpot’s interface and populate specific fields during the call. They record information on the customer’s attitude, service satisfaction or whether the number of devices will increase and the system will keep a detailed record of each call and the problems or opportunities serviced during the call. As these happen quarterly, with several contracts stretching over multiple years, storing this data as properties under contacts or companies was not feasible and instead, we developed and implemented playbooks that the Account Managers can complete on company or deal records, which would then create the Account Management Call record under the custom object.  

Telecommunication assets 

A telecommunications company that provides computer support services and equipment to educational institutions needed to be able to track the hardware assets provided to clients. 

The institution’s details are recorded in a contact and company record and any sales or transactions are recorded in deal records. The physical assets like routers, monitors and keyboards needed a custom object to record details on the model and make, serial number and features of each asset. The asset object can be associated with a company and even if the equipment is used by multiple clients over its service life, the asset object will record its complete history, by way of re-association to the current customer. 

Custom objects enhance HubSpot for your business 

Your business’s CRM should ease processes, clarify workstreams, enable seamless website and analytics integrations and provide reliable and efficient record-keeping capabilities. With HubSpot custom objects the possibilities to adapt your CRM as your business grows and your operations deepen in complexity are endless. 

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