Skip tracing for investors in real estate is the best 2020 stealth tool. The art of finding someone who has skipped town and abandoned a property is a real task. Before using a mailing list to send a mailer to a suspected homeowner, the best skip tracing services for real estate investors in 2020 can be used instead. Putting to use great tools and services is an excellent way to gain a competitive advantage in the housing industry.
What is a Skip Tracing Service
When a person cannot be found through traditional means, a trace of that person can be conducted. Homeowners can pass away, move to a different city or country, gift property to another person or entity, and many other scenarios. In order to find the actual owner of a piece of real estate, it takes some in-depth searching sometimes, and that is where a skip trace is useful.
Entrepreneurs, both men and women, have started locator intensive companies. These companies now collect data from various sources, and store this data in secure databases for public or private usage. As a housing industry investor, choosing and paying for a trace service is a big decision. Working directly with a company that can provide accurate data could end up helping investors to close more deals.
The real truth is that some people do not want to be found. The power of using tracing services is that it takes away all of the legwork in order to make contact with a property owner. Companies do exist that specialize in finding information that can lead to making contact with a homeowner. While some services are free, there are many premium services that can be paid for in order to assist investors.
How is a Skip Trace Done
The quality of the data is what is most important when initiating a skip trace. Because we live in a digital age, some parts of the process of tracing have changed. Normally, if an investor is using a service, the data that is collected and provided by a company will be higher quality. Companies go to great lengths to acquire information that can be stored, sorted and validated in real time.
The “tracer” is the person who conducts the actual search. These men and women are experts in data collection and verification. As a real estate investor, you would present whatever information you have to the tracer, and then he or she will cross reference the data available to try and get a hit.
What is a hit in a skip trace?
A hit is when a match is found using a public or private database of information. It is perfectly normal to have more than one hit for a first and last name combination. Middle initials, age ranges, street addresses and other data must be validated, and can often be incorrect. The goal of the hit is to retrieve an exact match that will lead to direct contact with the owner of a property, vacant land, condo, industrial complex or duplex.
Why is it Important to Pick the Right Skip Tracing Service
Spending money to hire a skip tracer is typically the best option. But, no two services are alike due to many different variables. The biggest selling point should be the accuracy of the data that is provided with every search. Nothing is quite worse than an outdated database.
Some of these variables include:
Experience of the tracer
Level of digital technology education
Personality of the skip tracer
Price per trace
Access to private information
An experienced person working for a top skip tracing company will not let normal barriers of entry prevent them from getting the information you seek. Even with the best databases available, phone work is part of the duties that a tracing expert will need. He or she will need to make phone calls to relatives of a homeowner, their siblings, children, neighbors, co-workers and other related people in order to verify the hit.
Some companies rely too heavily on e-mail correspondence. These days having an e-mail address is not enough to ensure a hit is possible. With people using dummy addresses and other fake information, it is very difficult to produce a worthwhile match using just an e-mail by itself. When choosing the right service provider, it is best to work with an agency that offers online and offline skip tracing services.
The United States Postal Service or USPS provides mailing address data in a public database. While there are free tools to access this information, it is not always accurate, but some agencies rely on this information. So, if you plan to pay for a skip tracer for real estate, it helps to select a company that can get more than one address for the owner of a property.
It is possible that the person being searched for is already deceased. While some obituary records are public, tax documents, probate documents and other details that can be verified are not. An experienced company will have and gain entry to the correct data warehouses in an attempt to get a hit.
How Much Does a Skip Trace Cost
The actual cost of a skip trace service can vary per user. It is very rare for a real estate professional to have just one name or address to validate. In most cases, an excel list or database file type that has thousands of names and numbers is used.
In most cases, pay-per-hit or pay-per-lead is available. The difference is the amount of search and data analysis that is required. The least expensive is pay-per-lead since many names, addresses, phone numbers and other information can be easily cross-linked in a bulk skip tracing process.
A general price is around $.15 per lead to validate.
Every provider of skip trace services for the housing industry supplies price information on its website or through a phone call. In order to receive the best results, evaluating a company for its pricing as-well-as its response time and data accuracy are hugely important.
Best Premium Skip Trace Providers
https://www.skipright.com is one of the most cost-effective companies to use. As a premium provider that distributes accurate information, Skip Right is a very valuable tool to use.
When evaluating price between companies, take note of the services actually provided as well as any claims of data being accurate. It is commonplace for some service providers to rely on genealogy-type websites to locate hard-to-find information. While this method is useful, it is very hard to verify without a third-party that knows the actual person being traced such as a family member or friend.
There are no cost solutions for someone who is just getting started with tracing. While the results that are provided might not be accurate, it can provide a starting point to help connect names to addresses.
https://www.familytreenow.com is a trusted resource for skip tracing in 2020 as a real estate investor.
The types of data that can be revealed using this public source includes:
Records of divorce
Records of marriage
Records of birth
Honorable discharge military records
Depending on the credentials of a person requiring a trace, there are hard to tap into databases that can be useful to locate and verify property owner information.
https://www.tlo.com is powered by TransUnion and could be useful to research deeper data such as credit report information, corporate debts, identity verification and other sensitive information.
https://login.idicore.com provides one of the best data repositories available for private use. Due diligence in the housing industry can be conducted with a paid service or with an IDI account.
https://www.delvepoint.com offers serious data platforms for tracing homeowners by verification of available data. One drawback to using this service is that it is not accessible by just anyone. DelvePoint collects your personal information and uses it to determine your level of access granted.
Why Skip Trace Companies Get Results
Information is king especially in business. Before trying to contact the owner of a residence, it is very helpful to know if the information you have is correct. No one wants to blow a deal using the wrong details. Because of the competitive nature of investors, your competition could be using the same or other databases provided by skip tracers in the U.S.
In order to get the best chance at buying a property, using a reliable and trusted provider is always the best decision. While there are free usage platforms, it is very difficult to know which details have been evaluated for accuracy and which have not. The top companies already have double-checked the information in their repositories. And, they are willing to provide it for a very fair price to investment groups or solo investors in the housing industry.
It is a simple answer: paying for reliable data is the only way to know if the trace will be successful. Hits are what matters in a real estate trace to find the actual property owner. Acquiring a house, apartment complex, single-family, multi-family or other structure before a competitor is what separates successful investors and newbies.