Uncover the Powerful Secret of Skip Tracing: What Is It and How to Use It
One of the most important things we wholesalers do is help homeowners when traditional real estate processes aren’t available to them or take too long to process in a situation where they need to sell a property in a short amount of time.
One of the most powerful ways we can do this is by skip tracing to help us find homeowners and properties.
But what is skip tracing exactly and how powerful can it be for wholesalers?
What is Skip Tracing? What Does it Mean?
Skip tracing is a service that’s used to obtain a person’s name and phone number from an address. This process often involves collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources, such as public records.
Skip tracing tools can range anywhere from being simple search engines to sophisticated software programs that automate the process and deliver high-quality, accurate results.
I’ll discuss different programs a bit later.
Skip Tracing’s Role in Wholesale Real Estate
The way we use skip tracing in wholesale real estate is by locating property owners. Here, we can uncover investment opportunities, like finding distressed properties that might be abandoned or properties that are heading towards foreclosure, known as pre-foreclosure.
There are a couple of ways we can use skip tracing:
Identifying property owners
Skip tracing is a powerful tool when it comes to finding out who owns a particular property. This helps us when we discover a property, like one that’s been abandoned, and there are no visible markings that state who the owner is.
This is different from a home that might be for sale – those properties have clear information on who to contact to get more information; with an abandoned property or one with a lien on it, for example, there may not be a contract name or information.
That’s where skip tracing provides the answer we’re looking for.
Uncovering distressed properties
Wholesalers spot potential and value in properties. In most cases, those properties are ones that we call “distressed”.
As mentioned above, these are your abandoned homes, condemned properties, hoarding situations, etc. Oftentimes, these properties aren’t listed for sale and will more commonly sit undisturbed for long periods of time.
Skip tracing allows us to find these properties and, with the above, discover who the owner might be.
Located Out of State Landlords
The current trend of renting out a second home or creating an Airbnb vacation home usually means that a lot of the landlords are living out of the city or more commonly, out of the state.
This of course can lead to challenges as they aren’t able to manage or maintain properties unless they travel to where that home is. Depending on the hassle they might be encountering, these landlords may opt out and be open to selling the property.
Building your wholesale network
Lastly, skip tracing can provide another avenue for building up your network with property owners and potential buyers.
Relationships are such a crucial role in this business and any opportunity where you can connect with others is great. Even if you aren’t able to get a deal out of it; the importance is that you have positioned yourself as a resource to them, meaning that when they have a deal, you will be who they turn to.
Now that we’ve looked at what skip tracing is and how you can use it as a wholesaler, let’s look at some software programs you can use.
Skip Tracing Software
There’s actually a number of different programs you can use for skip tracing, but the two that we favor in AstroFlipping are BatchLeads and Privy.
Both of these are not only great for helping the community comp properties, but both have a simple and easy way to skip trace property owners. The great thing too is that both of these programs function with real estate investors and wholesalers in mind.
If you’re curious to see how this works in action, check out the recap of our Mr. Moneybags Challenge with Brittany Berryman and Benson Juarez from Privy:
Skip tracing is a simple process, but if you need guidance on doing it right, come join us at AstroFlipping.