How to find lost tenants: The pros and cons of skip tracing.

August 30, 2022

Real estate investors put in much work in finding off-market properties that they may be willing to market to, but more often than not, they are faced with the dilemma of not being able to locate these property tenants/owners. It could get frustrating, and many give up at this point.

Real estate investors usually don't want to put in much effort after getting a list of motivated sellers. They don't realize that getting a list of motivated sellers may not be the most challenging part compared to contacting the owners. Most lists usually don't contain the property tenants'/owners' phone numbers or valid email addresses.

So, How do you get more substantial leads and find these tenants?

If you have ever wondered how real estate investors find lost tenants against all odds, Then read on, as this article provides all the basics about finding lost tenants.

When a tenant goes missing-Intentionally or unintentionally, Real estate investors skip trace. People who skip traces for a living are known as skip tracers. They use the known to demystify the unknown.

So, What exactly is skip tracing, and how can you use it to find lost tenants?

What is skip tracing in Real estate?

When tenants' whereabouts are unknown, It could be challenging to locate them, especially when real estate investors have invalid email addresses or don't have their phone numbers. So here's where skip tracing comes to play.

Skip tracing is a method adapted by real estate to find lost tenants. Skip tracing is derived from two words; "Skip" and "tracing," which means skipped town and trace down, respectively. So, Skip tracing means tracing someone who has skipped town, a tenant whose location is unknown, or someone who skipped town leaving minimal clues behind. In other words, skip tracing is the act of finding an individual's whereabouts.

Why do tenants skip town?

Tenants skip town for different reasons. Here are some reasons why;

  1. To avoid taking lawful responsibility for their actions. For example, a crime or damaging anything on the property.
  2. To avoid paying rent.
  3. Other personal reasons.

Whatever their reason, they went MIA, and finding them by asking their neighbors is all to no avail.

What are the odds of finding someone by skip tracing?

The likelihood of finding someone by skip tracing is high. When real estate investors work to find the tenant, it usually yields results 90-95% of the time, especially if done correctly.

What are the benefits of skip tracing?

Skip tracing saves time. It helps one contact more quality leads.

Finally, it is the best strategy for finding someone's contact information and whereabouts.

Is skip tracing legal?

The answer is yes, skip tracing is legal.

How do you track tenants and contact them with skip tracing?

Tenants that skip town leave minimal clues, which is a great place to start. Skip tracers usually start from the known to the unknown. They use clues like the invalid mail address to find their valid address. Whether you're hiring a professional skip tracer, private investigator, or not, the same principles apply.

Preparation is essential when you want to skip trace. Prepare to give it whatever it takes.

Skip tracers check different types of databases(online and public) to try to find information about the missing person. Free and paid sites(recourses) are readily available for skip tracing. Most people tend towards free things. Free services might give you pieces of information, but if you want more info, they may require you to subscribe.

Ultimately, if you want more substantial leads than random information, you must use paid sites like REsimpli.

Free platforms for skip tracing
  1. Social media: Social media has made finding anyone easy in this age and time. You'll be amazed at how much information you can see by just checking for their name on Facebook or LinkedIn. It is an excellent place to start. Social media is also great if you want to contact the person directly after finding them.
  2. Google: It is no news that there's nothing/no one you can't find on google, including their obituary. You can search for the person's name, zip code, street, or city address. Whatever piece of information is relevant to finding them. Google will often suggest some websites(Free or paid) to enhance your search.
Free sites for skip tracing.

The flip side of using free sites, as mentioned earlier, is that they may not have much information as paid sites, but sometimes, they are helpful.

Some popular free sites;


Pro tip: Getting their relatives can be helpful when searching for a person.

Don't discard any piece of information you can find.

Skip tracing improved with REsimpli, an all-in-one real estate investors' CRM software. REsimpli was designed by active real estate investors that can relate to your problem and help solve them. REsimpli is easy to use, reliable, and high-yielding.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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