Real estate skip tracing is all about generating leads. One of the more successful ways to develop leads has always involved direct marketing, including mailers. But it can prove difficult to get the information you need to build your mailing list from the clients you want–like business clients who own large corporations.
If you are a real estate investor who is looking to develop leads through direct mailings, you may have recently heard about skip tracing as a tool to use. Here, we’ll cover skip tracing, how it relates to generating real estate leads, and what you can do with public information to build your mailing list.
What is Skip Tracing?
The origins of “skip tracing” can be traced (pun intended) to bounty hunters and bail bondsmen.
Skip tracing is the act of tracking down an individual who has “skipped” town. When a bail bondsman is responsible for an individual, they have to keep tabs on them to ensure that they stick to the conditions of their bail, and that they pay the money back as promised. If an individual either breaks bail or doesn’t pay back bond, then the bondsman hires a bounty hunter (if they aren’t one themselves) to track them down. This professional has been made famous more recently through the adventures of Duane Chapman, aka “Dog the Bounty Hunter”.
When an individual skips out on bail they usually go into hiding, and are difficult to find physically or through close friends or family. Skip tracing is a tool developed for these bondsmen to track these individuals Skip tracing includes using credit reports, utility reports, employment records, and so on to triangulate where a person is, who they work for, and how they can be reached.
Skip tracing is also a popular tool for credit card collectors.
Skip Tracing and Real Estate
Skip tracing is also popular in other fields, like real estate and marketing–although not for the same reasons as listed above.
Primarily, real estate developers are always looking for new business leads. One profitable avenue of lead generation is through direct mailers. Investors will send direct mail to business owners and wealthier individuals with the idea that these individuals may want to sell property at a great price.
However, making contact with wealthier individuals or the owners of businesses can be difficult. This is made extra hard when the real estate investor wants to send hundreds, if not thousands, of mailers. WIthout the proper research it becomes very easy to waste time and money sending out mail that never gets anywhere.
Skip tracing helps by providing that investor tools to locate owners of companies like LLCs. These companies don’t always list their owner or their personal address, so extra research via skip tracing is needed.
How to Find an LLC Owner Via Skip Tracing
Unfortunately, most skip tracing sites offer skip tracing services for individuals only. This is a block for those looking for the individuals that manage or lead things like LLC entities, trust fund managers, or non-profit organizations.
Your best way to track this information is to look into public records. Every state has a record of corporations that includes the information for the owners of those corporations. This information is public.
However, the truth is that outside of public record searches, you can’t necessarily do “proper” skip tracing. SKip tracing involves getting access to private records like credit reports and pay stubs, so no site will provide that unless you are a licensed bondsman or debt collector.
However, there are several licensed skip tracing companies that serve as “private eyes” for those who want this kind of information.
With that, there are two options for you if you want to skip trace the owner of an LLC.
- Use public records to find the information (not skip tracing).
- Hire a licensed company that does skip tracing for businesses.
These are the best two ways to get the information you need.