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How do I create automations that check for duplicates or existing info before creating/updating records

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So maybe I’ve been working too long today but I just can quite seem to figure out setting up these automations.

I have a list of properties that I am going down the list and clicking a checkbox, which I want to create the contact by copying the info over to the Contacts table. If the record doesn’t exist, it should create. If it exists, it should update. One problem is the automation is creating multiple Donald records on multiple check boxes. The spreadsheet has many duplicates so I want to not have to worry about them.

(Side note: I guess it should be setup where if the Full Name has different company, a new contact should be created (since I don’t know which company the contact belongs to currently)

Another thing, not super important, is for every new contact, I want to relate its company to the Companies table. If exists, nothing should be done I guess and if doesn’t exists, it should create the new Company record and relate.

Anyone mind helping? I believe I’m confused over the Find Record action.

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EDIT 1
I noticed the Find Record action in my 2nd automation because I was searching for Buyer Broker records in a Listing Broker automation, so I corrected that.

However in the screenshot below it looks like it’s creating duplicate company records, so not sure what’s going on. See record 9/10. I think it may be because I must have checkboxed the two records too quickly before the first automation ran, but would love to hear if this is actually the issue and if there’s a way to prevent.

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2 Replies 2

Hopefully you have a more unique field to match against than just a person’s first name as I bet you’ll have issues with common names like “Mike” and “David”.

Does that mean your original table doesn’t store the company name in addition to the contact’s name? Are you adding companies to contacts later?


If you are adding checkmarks to bunch of records in quick succession you may not be giving Airtable enough time between automation runs to recognize that the new “matching” record was created in run 1 when run 2 happens seconds later.

Also, you have a Find Records step that is searching for records with a matching name. Therefore, your conditional actions should be based on the condition: “[Find Records > List properties > length] = 1” to update, “[Find Records > List properties > length] = 0” to create a new one. Your condition “List of ‘Name’ contains Company and Companies ID is empty” is repetitive. If those are the conditions that constitute a match, then those should be to conditions your Find Records step is using.

Hopefully you have a more unique field to match against than just a person’s first name as I bet you’ll have issues with common names like “Mike” and “David”.

Any suggestions? I could concatenate so First Last - Company is an ID to check against instead of Full Name

Does that mean your original table doesn’t store the company name in addition to the contact’s name? Are you adding companies to contacts later?

The source table has the First/Last Name, Company name, and Phone field available that I’m copying over. Not an email field. But these contacts may switch companies so the source data may have the same contact with two/three different companies listed. So I need to collect the 3 different emails and then run the list against an email verification tool to take out inactive ones.

The source data is property sale transactions so maybe I could reference the most recent sale to determine the company to use… but not sure how complicated that is and if its worth it. Most recent sales should be with the most recent company.

By the way, I’m having a VA add in the emails and then I want to push the contacts to a CRM like Hubspot or to a Google sheet.

“[Find Records > List properties > length] = 1” to update, “[Find Records > List properties > length] = 0” to create a new one. Your condition “List of ‘Name’ contains Company and Companies ID is empty” is repetitive. If those are the conditions that constitute a match, then those should be to conditions your Find Records step is using.

Ok i think I understand that. I’ll make that adjustment.