Two questions: First, how do you find a lead and its contact information? Second, how do you know that information is correct?
Not only is it embarrassing to get the wrong number, but it wastes your time, and you risk missing out on a sale opportunity by not being able to reach the homeowner quickly enough.
Skip tracing is useful to find information on homeowners who are difficult to contact. It can give you a competitive advantage by allowing more means of communication, especially with absentee owners who don’t even live on the property.
What is Skip Tracing?
From a legal perspective, skip tracing is used to locate people who are missing (who “skipped town”). They may be persons of interest, debtors, or witnesses, but specialized software tools help “trace” their steps to find them.
If the technology is good enough for legal professionals, debt collectors, and law enforcement, it is more than good enough for real estate investors who are looking for motivated sellers.
How is Skip Tracing Performed to Find Motivated Seller Leads?
Real estate investors use REI skip tracing in batches (or “batch skip tracing”) to gauge a homeowner’s background, their current situation, and likelihood to sell, and to find out how to reach them.
Skip tracing assesses all sorts of information to find these answers, including:
- Phone numbers
- Public tax information
- Public records
- Courthouse records
- Credit reports
- Criminal backgrounds
- Driver’s license/vehicle registration departments
- Loan applications
The quality of the data is very important. There are companies that collect and store data for public or private use and validate it in real-time. Otherwise, a “tracer” can do the legwork for you.
What is a hit? A hit is a match. It’s not so unusual to get a hit for a first and last name combination – for example, there are a lot of John Schmits and Ashley Bakers out there. Other details are less common, like a middle initial, age range, or street address.
Tracers conduct searches, gather and verify data for you and your sales team. You provide the information so the tracer can cross-reference the data to get a hit.
Is it Legal to Skip Trace?
So long as you do not obtain the information by illegal or violent means, and you do not intend to sell the data, or falsify reasons for your search, you are in the clear. You might look into the skip tracing rules for your state to make sure you act in accordance with those laws.
What Exactly Does REI Skip Tracing Find?
REI skip tracing finds data pertinent to homeowners, like:
- Their mailing address
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Full name and nicknames
Skip Tracing is a Must for Real Estate Investors
Finding accurate information for property owners gives you several benefits, including:
- Ahead of the Competition: being the first or the only one to find the homeowner puts you in the lead, as you put the contract in their hands and get it signed before your competitors. Time is of essence in real estate investing.
- Wider Reach: let’s say you focus your search to a specific area or real estate market. Through skip tracing, you find multiple homeowners that meet the motivated seller profile you want to target, and make fast work compared to traditional search methods.
- Unlimited Geographic Potential: instead of limiting yourself to a single market or a single type of homeowner, you can broaden your search to include multiple markets and motivated seller types.
What is Multi-tiered Skip Tracing?
Multi-tiered means having multiple tiers (or levels). If skip tracing was a wedding cake, each tier is another level (or means) of tracing the lead’s information.
At GoForClose, we utilize four different skip trace providers to get the most accurate information. For us, it is about quality, not quantity.
We skip trace those leads on our motivated homeowner list, which is built off an internal database with over 150 million properties and hundreds of data points per property. We match phone numbers and automate number verification through a combination of technology and marketing. Additional tools at our disposal include USPS Verification and a litigation scrubber.
Once we verify numbers, we launch specialized marketing campaigns to reach those leads, focused around their motivations. Landline numbers are added to cold calling campaigns, while mobile numbers are reached via SMS and RVM.
We then nurture those leads along, and when they are ready to sell, we pass them on to you and your sales team. But nevermind the work behind the scenes, because you will only spend your time with motivated seller leads with verified information.
If you have questions or are curious to know more, request a free consultation below.