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  FileMaker Asia Pacific News
  Jan-Mar 2012  
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Keeping tabs on information from the field

There is often a great distance between information in the field and recording it at the office. A sector that particularly struggles with this challenge is the real estate industry, where property management companies are required to know the conditions of the properties under their management at all times. Landlords and the Office of Fair Trading require these records.


A key element of North Nor’West property management’s role is to maintain up-to-date records on the conditions of all the properties.

Until recently, this process involved property managers recording property conditions on a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), a device that was popular in the nineties for managing contact details, calendar appointments, and sometimes email.

While in its day it was a great leap forward from carrying clipboards and paper, by last year we were being held captive by the frustrations and complications of out-dated technology. The system was breaking and we couldn’t even replace the PDAs, as they were no longer being sold!” said Cheryl King, who manages IT at real estate agency North Nor'West.

Late in November 2011, Cheryl decided that the system needed to be replaced, but didn’t want to spend a considerable amount of her budget on a new system. The team at North Nor’West investigated how they could extend their investment in FileMaker Pro, which at that time was solely used to manage the property sales database, to include the work of the property management group.

The solution was incredibly simple and is extremely effective,” said Cheryl. “I know we’ve saved ourselves a heap of money by using FileMaker Go.”


North Nor’West’s property managers now inspect their properties with an iPad, logging the condition details of properties on interactive forms with FileMaker Go. The forms are compliant with legislation set by the Office of Fair Trading, if information is required at tribunal.

Databuzz, a FileMaker consultancy, assisted North Nor’West with integrating the iPad forms with the company’s database.

It was a breeze to make the forms intuitive, which ensures that every property manager captures their property inspections in the same manner. It negates the need for specialist training,” commented Andrew Duncan, from Databuzz.

The information the agents recorded is downloaded wirelessly from the iPads to the property inspection database created in FileMaker Pro. With a few simple clicks, regular property inspection reports can be output for landlords.

Cheryl concludes, “This simple solution using FileMaker Go on iPad is the kind of technology that puts us way ahead of the competition.”


Where in the world was that?

Often, it’s not just capturing information that matters but detailing where the record was captured.

Be it a birdwatcher sighting a rare bird, a researcher plotting the location of plant specimen, or a council worker assessing road conditions by photographing and recording where repairs are needed—the locality of the information is often as vital as the information itself.

Using GPS technology, the location of data captured is easily identifiable, with FileMaker Go 12 it’s not just easy, but automatic. The longitude and latitude can also be passed to Google maps to plot the location.

Geotagging The ability to get and record your GPS location is great for service industries which need to capture the location of events such as deliveries." Andrew Duncan, Databuzz

With FileMaker Go 12, records can always have a place in the world.

FileMaker Seminars

FileMaker is hosting half day “FileMaker 12 in Action” free seminars showcasing the new FileMaker 12 features, including those for iPad and iPhone.

These “FileMaker 12 in Action” seminars will be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and will be hosted by Andrew LeCates, North America Director of the worldwide Systems Engineering team. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed with the changes quickly in the new FileMaker 12 software and to take advantage of the new features.

To make sure you receive details about upcoming seminars go to: and select “seminars and events"

  Subscribe to our newsletter   Jan-Mar 2012  
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