Property Management, Tenant Selection, Real Estate News & Tips

Updated Property Sorting

Sorting property names, especially when considering large numbers of sub-units, can be somewhat complicated.  The typical methods to sort available on the web are alphabetically or numerically.  The challenge presents itself when there might be a property, or multiple properties within an account that look like the following lists:

123 Spruce St, Unit A
123 Spruce St, Unit B
123 Spruce St, Unit C
123 Spruce St, Unit D
133 Pine St, Unit A1 – 4br
133 Pine St, Unit A2 – 3br
133 Pine St, Unit B1 – 2br
133 Pine St, Unit B2 – 2br

Computers can be told to sort numerically, which would not have any idea how to sort the first set of data.  Likewise, they can be told to sort alphabetically which presents a problem with the 2nd set of data.  Even a straight numerical sort on the 2nd set of data would produce an unwanted result.  Alphabetical sorting also has the complication of ordering like this:  1,11,12,13,2,3,4,5,6 (see why the 11, 12, 13 are before the 2? hint: it’s because they start with 1 which comes before 2)  Add to this that within the property name field we see other notes which may not relate to the property address.  Now picture these same lists with 100 or 200 properties or unit in them.  It can end up looking disorderly.

Rentec Direct has developed a custom sorting methodology to address all options and display the list in the most universally ordered method available.  The explanation of how it works is as follows:

  1. If a property has a numeric value within it (any number), that number is stored and used as the primary sort, followed by a alphabetical sort; otherwise if a property has no numerical values it is considered to start with a zero, so it’s at the top of the list and then sorted purely alphabetically.
  2. Following any alphabetical only addresses are the numbered addresses, or addresses with any number in them at all.
  3. In the case of properties with subunits, each list of subunits is sorted independently and listed directly below the primary property (or in the case of many reports, the subunit’s first units shows first).  The sorting of subunits follows the same rules as items 1 and 2 above.

If that’s too technical (or long) to read and understand, suffice it to say the sorting in Rentec Direct works much better now.  Thank you Sam (one of our terrific customers) for your feedback and help reporting the sorting issues.  This update should provide a more consistent look and feel across the board when looking at lists of properties.

This update affects all editions of Rentec Direct.

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About the Author

About the Author: Nathan is the founder of Rentec Direct and has been pushing buttons at Rentec since 2008 when the first of many servers drew the very first kilowatt of power from the grid. He has a passion for application security and spends an incredible amount of time ensuring your data is protected. When Nathan is not day-dreaming about 1's and 0's, you may also find him "tuning" the development schedule to get that next big feature in your hands sooner or enjoying a ski day at Mt Bachelor! .


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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Bill Lyon says:

    – Add a field just for us to use for sorting.
    – We can select, property by property, to use the default sort that you have established, or to use the ‘sort field’ simply by adding data to it.

    – As far as the programming goes, automatically copy the data you are sorting on now into this ‘sort field’. If we choose to enter our own data in the sort field data it would replace your default data, then your sort routine would continue to work as usual.

    (I still want to see a field added to show the availability of a property. I want all of my properties to show all the time, with the AVAILABLE units at the TOP of the list. This gives me a handle on the demand for different properties, because people will still inquire about them even if they are occupied.)

  2. nmiller says:

    Bill, Thank you for the suggestion. If you had your ideal list of sort options available what would you suggest they be?

    Based on your comment, I would suggest the first would be:

    – Order by property, starting with vacant properties

  3. nmiller says:

    We’ve updated the sort to include customizable sorting now. We posted the announcement on our blog yesterday at

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