Skip Tracing: The Ultimate Tool for Real Estate Investors

CEO Khai Intela
Are you a real estate investor searching for new and untapped opportunities? If so, skip tracing is your secret weapon. This guide will show you how to harness the power of skip tracing to generate...

Are you a real estate investor searching for new and untapped opportunities? If so, skip tracing is your secret weapon. This guide will show you how to harness the power of skip tracing to generate promising seller leads and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Wondering About Skip Tracing?

A graphic showing a property investor skip tracing

Skip tracing is a technique used by private investigators and law enforcement agencies to locate individuals. However, it is even more beneficial for real estate investors in their quest to find motivated sellers. By exploring our comprehensive guide to skip tracing, you'll discover effective methods to locate elusive sellers and maximize your investment opportunities.

Traditional methods like advertising and seller lead magnets can be effective, but they are also widely used by other real estate investors. To truly differentiate yourself, you need to explore uncharted territories and embrace skip tracing.

Enter, Skip Tracing

Skip tracing is the key to accessing prime motivated seller leads that have not yet been bombarded by other investors. This method is often time-consuming, but our guide will teach you how to skip trace efficiently and minimize your time investment. With our expert insights, you'll learn everything about REI skip tracing, who can benefit from it, and three effective methods to find promising seller leads.

What Is Skip Tracing?

An investor walking around a computer with various dollars, check marks, and a computer

Skip tracing is a powerful technique commonly associated with law enforcement, debt collection, and private investigation. It allows you to locate contact information for individuals who are difficult to find. By delving into skip tracing, you can uncover the names, phone numbers, addresses, and other vital information of these elusive individuals.

The Reality

Skip tracing is not as glamorous as it sounds. It involves thorough research of public and private records to gather clues about a person's whereabouts. So why should real estate investors use skip tracing when there are easier methods available?

The answer lies in the two main advantages skip tracing offers. Firstly, it provides access to property owners who have not yet been contacted by other investors. These owners may not be hiding or have left town—they simply haven't been discovered yet. Secondly, skip tracing can be done with minimal time investment if you know the right platforms to use. We will explore these platforms shortly.

Who Uses Skip Tracing?

Skip tracing is utilized by various professions, including bounty hunters, detectives, and debt collectors, to find contact information. However, for real estate investors, skip tracing allows them to connect with property owners who have never been approached by another investor—a unicorn in the world of real estate investing.

Why Investors Use Skip Tracing

The various types of motivated sellers you can find with real estate skip tracing

Real estate investors rely on skip tracing to identify untapped seller leads. These leads are not only valuable because they haven't received offers from other investors, but they are also potentially highly motivated to sell. Property owners who can benefit from skip tracing include those who own vacant or abandoned properties, recent empty-nesters, individuals who have inherited property, or those facing financial challenges such as tax or mortgage payment issues.

Finding these property owners can be a challenge, as many investors opt for easily accessible leads. By going the extra mile and implementing skip tracing techniques, you can uncover hidden opportunities and increase your chances of making successful offers.

How to Use Skip Tracing to Find Seller Leads

Now that you understand the value of skip tracing, let's explore how you can use it to find current contact information for hard-to-find seller leads.

1. United States Postal Service

Skip tracing using the United States Postal Service

One effective technique is leveraging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to obtain updated contact information. By sending a mailer or letter to the last known address of the property owner you're seeking, you can include the instruction, "Do Not Forward: Return Service Requested." The USPS will not forward the letter but will provide you with the owner's new address through a sticker. This method relies on the property owner updating their address with the National Change of Address (NCOA).

2. Public Records

Skip tracing using public records

While time-consuming, reviewing public records can yield valuable contact information. Digging through employment records, tax information, DMV records, divorce records, and other public sources can reveal recent updates on a property owner's whereabouts. This method requires dedication and effort, but it is an effective way to gather information for potential offers.

3. Real Estate Software

Skip tracing using real estate investing software

The most efficient and time-saving method is to leverage real estate software. Platforms like PropStream provide comprehensive skip tracing capabilities, allowing you to access the full name, email address, phone numbers, mailing address, and associated public records of property owners. Additionally, PropStream enables you to call the property owner directly and leave a voicemail, ensuring compliance with robocalling regulations.

Is Skip Tracing Worth Your Time?

A property investor making money from a laptop with a stack of property records on his desk

Despite the additional time investment, skip tracing is worth every minute. Accessible seller leads attract intense competition, which diminishes your chances of success. By implementing skip tracing, you can be the first investor to contact motivated sellers, increasing the likelihood of a positive response.

Skip tracing allows you to connect with property owners who are likely to sell due to various circumstances. However, manual search efforts through public records are time-consuming. Utilizing smart skip tracing methods, like those offered by PropStream's automated platform, enables you to capture and convert more leads in less time.

With PropStream, you can conduct unlimited property searches, export property data reports, build targeted lists, nurture seller leads, analyze potential investments, and much more. Start your free 7-day trial today and discover how skip tracing can revolutionize your real estate investing journey.

In conclusion, skip tracing is an invaluable tool for real estate investors seeking untapped opportunities. By embracing skip tracing methods, you unlock the potential to connect with motivated sellers who have not yet received offers from other investors. Invest your time wisely, leverage skip tracing techniques, and maximize your success as a real estate investor.