Are you proactive prospecting via cold calling expired listings, FSBOs, and expired listings to acquire potential seller clients?

If your reply is “yes,” you have likely come across real estate skip tracing, which can increase the quality of your real estate leads when done right and with the right tools.

Today’s article will go in-depth into what skip tracing in real estate is all about, how it works, why it is used, nine different skip tracing apps for real estate, the most accurate skip tracing service, and how to skip trace for “free.”

Sounds interesting? Then please keep reading.


What Is Skip Tracing in Real Estate and How Does it Work?

When you have a process to locate a person’s whereabouts, you do skip tracing.

And when you do this with the purpose of a future real estate transaction, you do skip tracing in real estate.

In the real estate field, it usually means locating the whereabouts of a property owner or seller for marketing and selling reasons.

How Does It Work?

Skip Tracing in real estate usually involves using software to scrape public information and find seller contact information.

There are different stages of skip tracing that cannot be covered completely by software:

  • Information verification about the potential seller
  • Collecting further information about the potential seller
  • Information analysis, reduction, and again verification
  • Social Engineering to make contact information even more reliable (here, software can’t help you anymore)

The software can be helpful in the first three stages, but once social engineering is needed, you will need to rely on humans.

Usually, you can get pretty reliable data using just the first three stages.

Skip tracing software could be considered as a more sophisticated scraping software. The latter I already discussed in this article.

Skip tracing in real estate, as well as skip tracing in general, often use records and different databases consisting of:

  • Credit reports
  • Phone numbers
  • Credit card applications
  • Loan application
  • Debt collector databases
  • Criminal background checks
  • Job application information
  • Utility bill information
  • Social security information
  • Public tax information

Since some data sources can’t be simply accessed without the right authorization or other special permits (e.g., search warrants), they can’t all be used by the software.

Real estate skip tracing software usually relies on an application programming interface to scrape the relevant information.

So only paid databases and social media platforms (e.g., Facebook) where such APIs are available can be used.


Why Is Real Estate Skip Tracing Used?

Skip tracing (in real estate) increases the quality of the contact information you want to use for marketing and selling purposes.

Let’s say you plan a direct mailing campaign and want to send letters to 2000 potential property owners that are likely motivated to sell.

Your main targets are for sale by owners you can find on various property portals.

You collect the contact data you will use on the mailers from these portals, which is done without a real estate skip tracer.

In the second scenario, you use software that automatically gathers for sale by owner leads from various websites and databases and then skip traces the contact information.

Which scenario will lead to a better return on ad spending?

If it’s a good skip tracing software, you will have a higher return on ad spending because your mailers will be more accurate, and the right target group (motivated for sale by owners) will be reached.


8 Skip Tracing Real Estate Apps Including Costs

There are generally two different categories for real estate skip tracing apps.

Firstly, skip tracing software providers serve a wide array of different industries.

They are usually a bit more generic and often don’t disclose their pricing plans on their website because they may need to fit the pricing to your individual situation and industry.

And then, there are skip tracing software providers mainly focused on the real estate industry.

Before giving an in-depth description of the different skip-tracing real estate apps, you can find an overview table below with all of them collected, including their costs.

App NameUnit Costs/ Pricing for Skip TracingCosts/Pricing for Basic SoftwareHit RateHit Rate Source
Skip Genie$0.17 per additional result$58 per month (includes 100 searches)70,00%Link
PropertySharkincluded in monthly pricingfrom $59.95 per month (includes 175 reports)n.a.
Propstream$0.2 per result$99 per month20-30%Link
batchskiptracing$0.2 per result-16,00%Link
LocatePlusincluded in monthly pricing$88.95 per month (plus a one-time fee of $149.99)9,70%Link
findtheseller$9.97 per resultn.a.95,00%Link
Searchbug$2 per result, $5 per report-n.a.


1) Skip Genie

Skip Genie is one of the skip tracing software providers focusing solely on real estate professionals to help them find seller contact information.

Contact information can be tracked: phone numbers, address history, and possible relatives and associates.

You can choose from a person report, a property report, and possible relatives.

The person report includes phone numbers, addresses, and related individuals.

The property report contains an address, related people to the property, their contact information, and other properties they might have.

And the possible “relatives report” does what the name indicates, and it looks for potential relatives should there be no way to contact the owner.

Skip Genie’s cost is $58 per month and includes 100 searches. For each additional search, the pricing is $0.17 per result.

You can check out the provider here.

2) Reonomy

When you visit Reonomy’s website for the first time, you will quickly realize that you are dealing with a much larger skip-tracing software provider that mainly focuses on commercial real estate clients than the former provider.

Although all skip tracing software providers are somewhat part of the real estate tech (realtech) or property tech (proptech) category for Reonomy, this seems to be more true.

Why? Because they do skip tracing and power it with artificial intelligence and a predictive analytics algorithm.

Additionally, they offer an application programming interface where you can integrate their data into your in-house data systems.

So you can see that their solution is tailored to larger agencies or brokerages in commercial real estate, not necessarily the solo agent.

Since I suspect the different solutions are tailored to the clients individually, fixed pricing plans aren’t disclosed on their website.

Here, you can learn more about Reonomy.

3) PropertyShark

PropertyShark is also a larger skip-tracing software provider.

But there is one downside right from the start, and they only operate in the area of New York City.

They can skip trace residential and commercial properties for you.

They have access to the following data sources:

  • Phone numbers of owners behind LLCs
  • Owner names and contact details
  • Mobile number of individual owners
  • Property characteristics
  • Foreclosures
  • Property value
  • Zoning
  • FAR
  • Property characteristics
  • Title documents
  • Sales history
  • Liens

Their solution is tailored to real estate investors, residential and commercial real estate agents, developers, homebuyers, insurance agents, and appraisers.

You can check out PropertyShark here.

4) Propstream

Propstream I already analyzed in-depth in this article; it is a software with real estate skip tracing as just one component.

About 80% of their features provide you with market intelligence (the skip tracing part), and the remaining 20% are marketing tools (e.g., email campaigns, website landing pages, voice mail campaigns, and postcards).

Propstream’s main focus is on finding and evaluating investment opportunities. So it is more tailored to real estate investors.

The costs for the software start at $99 per month, and you pay an additional $0.2 per search result for skip tracing.

Here, you can learn more about Propstream.

5) Batch Skip Tracing

Batch Skip Tracing is another medium-sized skip-tracing software for the real estate industry and serves bank and debt collectors, attorneys, call centers, private investigators, and law enforcement.

The company has collected 10.5 billion data points about homeowners in the real estate industry, so you can find contact information from distressed and non-distressed property owners.

You can also skip trace owner-occupied, non-owner-occupied, vacant, and pre-foreclosure properties.

The costs for Batch Skip Tracing are only results-based, and you pay $0.2 per search result.

You can check out Batch Skip Tracing here.

6) LocatePLUS

When I first visited the LocatePLUS website, it gave me a more “old-school” impression.

It is not solely focused on the real estate industry for skip tracing but also serves industries such as insurance agents, legal professionals, investigators, process servers, bail bondsmen, and more.

I would categorize it as a more comprehensive solution since there is no further information on what kind of data they can provide for the real estate industry.

The monthly costs are $88.95, and an additional $149.99 one-time fee.

According to their website, you can get unlimited searches for this price.

Here, you can learn more about LocatePLUS.


7) Find The Seller

Already the website’s name, “” gives you clues that this skip tracing software’s focus is the real estate industry.

Besides skip tracing, the company can also provide you with business background searches, judgments, bankruptcies & liens data, and tax roll searches.

They have higher prices than the other providers per search result when it comes to cost.

The price per search result is $9.97, a multiple higher than the other providers.

I suppose this is because they position themselves in a premium area to provide high-quality data.

You can check out Find the Seller here.

8) Searchbug

The Searchbbug skip tracing software has more of a corporate look and feel and offers much more than skip tracing.

They serve industries such as e-commerce and retail, legal professionals, health and medical, financial services, marketers, and telco.

You can find people using different criteria, such as criminal records, marriage, divorce, etc. Just one of them is property, which would be relevant for the real estate industry.

They also offer private investigation services and application programming interfaces so you can code your own application based on their data access.

Data from the property search usually include:

  • Names of buyer, seller, owner
  • Property size and type
  • Assessed value, delinquency info, and tax information
  • Comparable reports
  • Sales history, including loan details
  • State and local property records
  • Deeds
  • Assessment records for previous years

For the costs, they have an interesting approach.

You need to first buy credits they call tokens ($T), and you pay $2 (or 200 $T) per property/owner search result and $5 (500 $T) per report.

Here you can find out more about them.


What Is the Best and Most Accurate Skip Tracing Service?

Based on the hit rate as the primary metric to determine the accuracy of skip tracing services and software,, with a 95% hit rate, is the best one, according to anecdotal evidence.

You can see this in the table I used in the former section.

I analyzed the different skip-tracing services and software providers and researched their hit rates.

Getting performance data wasn’t easy, but I could find anecdotal evidence from six of the nine analyzed providers.

Interestingly, the only one of the less expensive ones that had a hit rate higher than 60% was Skip Genie.

I found the most accurate one also asks for a higher pricing per result.

So I guess in the context of skip tracing and many other areas, the rough rule of thumb is again true of “you get what you pay for.”

Why use hit rates in the first place?

It’s one of the most important metrics to determine how well skip tracing works.

For example, if you have a hit rate of 100%, all contact information you receive via skip tracing will be accurate.

This means you won’t call anyone that has no idea who you are looking for.

A hit rate of only 1% would mean you will make many calls that are just plain wrong numbers.

It would be similar to just throwing a phone book in the air, seeing where it opens when it lands on the floor, and then throwing a dart in the page to know where to call, or maybe doing the two things at once.

So a 1% hit rate would mean much time wasted on your marketing or prospecting endeavors.


Free Skip Tracing Real Estate – How to?

You may be on a budget and don’t want to pay money for skip-tracing software or services. So you may wonder whether this is even possible for free.

While the free methods might not be as accurate as some of the solutions with higher price tags, there are some ways you can do it for free.

Below you will find a list of different ideas on how you can go about it:

  • Use social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram to find additional information about a particular person.
  • Pulling up information from online directories via telecom service providers such as SkipEase and Spokeo.
  • Using county assessor’s websites with searchable public information about owners or properties.
  • Looking for persons on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo
  • Validating email addresses via email checkers such as Email Checker and EmailSherlock.
  • Using people finder websites such as TruePeopleSearch and pipl.
  • Searching on genealogy websites such as familytreenow and myrelative.

As you can imagine, these methods may be without monetary costs, but you will pay with a much higher time investment on your behalf.

Unfortunately, nothing is truly free, and you either pay money or pay with your time.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher