Investors who get into managing long-term income properties often find it helpful to skip trace tenants and applicants. This can be done for various reasons and might even happen for the same tenant multiple times if they move units or rent additional space. It can track down commercial or residential tenants, and it scales. That makes it equally useful for large and small investors.
- Confirm contact information provided on applications
- Follow up on employment and past address information to verify it
- Find tenants who are behind on rent and avoid contact at the rental address
- Locate past tenants who have skipped on late rent, lease termination fees, or repair costs
If it comes down to a question of expenses, you should consider how you could skip trace tenants yourself and then weigh the labor and resource costs against different options for outsourcing the work to contractors.
Mail forwarding and address information are publicly available to anyone who wants to buy the address list for an area from USPS. It’s easy enough to inquire with the postal service about forwarding information for individuals or to use it for batches of prospective tenants. Large-scale property investors can even use this resource to run down long lists of tenants.
One of the reasons it is important to collect detailed information on tenant applications is to give yourself a starting place when seeking out tenants who have skipped rent or moved out before the end of a lease. Employment information gives you a point of contact to be relatively sure of finding them, provided it is up to date.
False employment information can be circumvented by following up carefully on applicants and doing thorough background checks. Outdated information is harder to compensate for because you can never tell who will wind up changing jobs during their tenancy. It is a good idea to have some employment records. Even an outdated one might give you an updated point of contact if the tenant only recently left the position.
Public Records Search
Public record searches vary in cost and time invested in access. Some of them, like internet searches for social media accounts or public-facing contact information, are free of charge but take a fair amount of time. Others, like access to pre-foreclosure lists, might be quick once you find the office and pay a cost for copies of the data. So, what is out there?
- Deep web searches that go beyond surface queries provided by major search engines
- Yellow and white page searches
- Pre-foreclosure lists, court proceedings, and arrest records
- Major social media and email provider account searches
- Media mentions or appearances
As you might imagine, consulting all these sources takes time. Professionals who do skip tracing work on economies of scale. They pay for access to this data full-time, making each search relatively inexpensive.
Hire a Professional
Most people do not do their own skip tracing. Private investigators offer this service, but they are not the only professional option. Using a skip tracing service like BatchSkipTracing is fast; it uses as much automation as possible to speed up the process, so you get results faster than you would when hiring individual investigators.
Get Pay as You Go Skip Tracing
Batch Skip Tracing is an excellent option for both new and experienced income property investors. With pay-as-you-go results, you always get what you need for a low cost without having to worry about subscription overhead. Just run skip tracing when you need it and skip the cost when you don’t.