CRM Customization: Choosing Between Custom Objects & Custom Properties

By Melissa Erickson on May 23, 2024
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CRM Customization: Choosing Between Custom Objects & Custom Properties

One of the great things about a CRM and HubSpot is that it allows you to customize beyond what comes out of the box in order for it to fit your industry and business. Not all Marketing, Sales, and Service processes are exactly the same, so having the flexibility to add and remove is important and a key part of a successful implementation. The more tailoring the better for adoption, but that's a topic for another day. Let’s focus on some distinctions and best practices associated with these customization options.

When to use a Custom Property

A custom property is useful when you have a data point that you want to track that doesn’t come out of the box with HubSpot. If you have specific data you track that references your company, this is a scenario where you would create custom properties to track that information. Custom properties empower you to capture and organize data tailored to your business requirements. Custom properties can be created for any object in HubSpot - Contacts, Companies, Deals, etc. Likely these are all areas you would want to consider adding custom properties to fit your data needs.

Best Practices

  1. Validate existing properties:  Before creating a custom property, ensure that a property doesn’t already exist before creating a custom one. HubSpot comes with a lot of properties - check to make sure a property doesn’t already exist for your data needs before creating one.
  2. Plan thoroughly: Define the custom properties name, type and potential values before creating. Clear planning ensures consistency and efficient data management.
  3. Consider Integrations: If you are planning to integrate this data with another system you will want to make sure the type of property matches with the source system. For example - a dropdown select property within HubSpot, should match up with the corresponding dropdown select of the other system with the same values. If you know Integration is included, start with source systems properties to determine custom properties.


  1. Always remember more is not better, only create properties you truly need and be conscious of what you make required, too many required fields can cause friction and therefore make it tougher to get user adoption.


When to use a Custom Object

HubSpot will provide a standard set of objects that you would expect with a CRM - a way to track contacts, companies, deals, and tickets. But what if you have a scenario where you want to track additional data that doesn’t fit in within any of these previous objects?

Example - let’s say your business hosted events and you wanted to be able to track event info, and which contacts were registered for which events. In this scenario you would create 2 new objects - an object to track the event info and an object to track the registration which would be associated back to the event as well as the contact. You would also likely create many custom properties on these new objects to track the relevant data elements. On the event you're likely going to need an event name, event date or year, type of event, etc. For the registration object you're likely going to need registration date, amount, shirt size, etc. 

Best Practices

  1. Efficient Data Structure: When creating properties for your custom objects make sure to use the property on the appropriate object - for example in the scenario above - you wouldn’t need to repeat contact information on the registration record and instead should associate the correct contact, same goes for event, you shouldn’t repeat event information on the registration record and instead should have an association to the event. Focus on keeping the correct data in the most appropriate places.
  2. Consider Reporting needs: When building out your custom objects and custom properties, keep reporting top of mind. Depending on how you will use this data, your setup will directly impact how you can report on the data and how easy it is to filter by certain properties.


  1. What is an association? An association is HubSpot’s way of creating relationships between records so a customer record can have many contacts associated with it and a contact can be associated with multiple customers as well. Associations create a tie between records and then allows you to report based on those relationships as well.
  2. Have Operations Hub? Use Data model management to see and validate your custom objects structure or use a mapping tool to map out prior to building. Careful preparation always helps make sure you build the structure correctly to meet your goals. You can also use Data Quality in this section as well - keeping an eye on data quality within these objects and properties will always help keep your data in check.

Summing It Up

  1. Custom properties are a great way to track additional data elements for any object in HubSpot.
  2. Custom objects are a great way to track additional data that doesn’t fit within the out of the box objects available today.

Last Tip

  1. If there are several data elements, and it could occur more than once, this is likely a fit for a custom object. For example: if I want to track contract data associated with a deal, there could be more than 1 contract. I may also want to track who signed the contract, what the signed date was, what the provided date was and how long the contract is for. In this scenario, rather than creating custom properties, it may make sense to create a Custom object with the necessary properties instead.

Melissa is Head of Solutions Consulting in North America @ She is a digital transformation leader, passionate about business applications and improving experience and process. She's proficient in business process, architecture, solution building and integration.

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