Skip tracing is a way to find a person who is no longer at an address of record or in the general area. In most cases, the person of interest does not want to be found which can make the process more difficult. Process servers often use skip tracing skills to locate a person to serve him or her with court documents. The process server works to gather as much information as possible about the person and then tries to use the information to discover the person’s location.
The Internet has made the process of skip tracing less complicated as there is a great deal of information which can now be accessed quickly and easily. Skip tracers will use a variety of databases to gather the needed information. These can include information about credit reports, phone numbers, job, credit card or loan applications and even utility bills. Other resources can provide information about air travel records, a new driver’s license or new vehicle registration.
Process servers will also scour a person’s social media accounts to try to determine a location from posts or pictures that might have been uploaded. Social media will also provide a long list of people who might know the location of the person of interest. The process server can try contacting these people either in person for an interview or via social pages or email to gather any information about the person they are searching for.
Real estate investors are also becoming quite adept at using skip tracing techniques to locate property owners or those persons who the investor believes could be potential buyers. The use of broad marketing such as postcards, flyers or letters offers a very low return on investment. But more focused advertising and effort can yield a much greater return. Locating a property owner to make an offer on a vacant property can be much faster and less costly than blanketing an area with thousands of postcards and waiting for a single seller to respond.
There are many professional skip tracing companies that can be hired to complete this process for you, or you can work to master the skills yourself and save money and time. Having the ability to find buyers and sells yourself will provide you added control and success in your real estate investing career. With a little practice, you will see the results and the profit that you can generate at will.