Why might you need one? More importantly, are there any better alternatives for getting the desired job done?
Investors have been discussing the use of skip-trace services and trying to figure out which ones are best among the myriad of online real estate platforms. However, do these services make logical and financial sense to take advantage of? Have they been rendered irrelevant by new technologies? Investors still debate as to whether or not a skip-trace service offers the best alternative.
Skip-tracing services basically track down people that have ‘skipped town.’ Somewhat like a private investigator, they provide services for finding the hard to find.
This solution relies on technology for finding out where individuals are, where they are living and how to contact them. It has long been used for car repos, debt collections, finding heirs to a will, locating missing persons, and similarly by law enforcement.
What purpose do these people finding services serve for real estate investment companies and solo investors?
There are several reasons for a real estate investment company or individual property investor to use this type of service. The first, but perhaps least common, would be to enhance due diligence and screening practices. They could be used to dig deeper and verify a variety of factors when filtering tenant applications or rent-to-own or lease option home buyers. The same can apply when checking out new potential vendors, business partners and even new hires.
Newer applications see this system being used to track absentee homeowners. For example; you may have found a home that appears to be abandoned and a ripe acquisition choice, but the owners are long gone and not listed in the phone book.