Need to create a relational database for commercial real estate
Hello. I am new to filemaker and have recently purchase filemaker pro advanced for the purposes of creating a database for my business. I am a real estate broker/agent specializing in investment real estate. I currently use a product called REA which is database solution built for the windows platform and specifically for commercial real estate. I won't go into my list of problems with the program. Suffice it to say that I want to create my own solution. (I've provided a link to the REA website so people can visualize: http://gorea.com/new_to_REA/screenshot_tour.php).
My database consists of properties and their owners/contacts. The properties include a variety of intrinsic data (type, # of units, APN#, year built, etc. etc.). The contacts linked to those properties typically consist of simple contact data (name, address, phone, email, etc.). One important characteristic is a 'notes' fieid. I need to be able to have a button that to add a note (and have that start with a time stamp) for the purpose of tracking my calls and conversations.
Ideally, I will have a database that can sort either by property or by owner. In some cases, one owner or investment group may own multiple properties within the database. I would like all those linked to the single source. However, I should also be able to scroll through all the properties in a list format.
Since I am new to filemaker, can anyone point me in the right direction? Should I simply begin with one of the templates (say, contact management) and modify it? Or should I build from scratch? Any help is greatly appreciated.