Finding Property Owners

I need help locating property owners of the distressed properties I find. What are the best ways to go about finding the information/records of owners of distressed props so I can get the property under contract?

Thanks for asking this question tentalentsinvestor. I am happy to help.

I want to make sure I understand what you’re asking because I can interpret your question in a couple different ways.

Are you asking, how do you find out which properties are distressed and get the contact info for those sellers?

Or, are you saying you have identified a property and believe there is something about it that would make it a good candidate for approaching the seller and you want to know how to figure out how to find the seller and their contact info?

For finding sellers with a situation that I can help with and add value to the marketplace…

I PRIMARILY use marketing to have sellers raise their hand and tell me that my marketing message of being able to help sellers in certain situations was something they were interested in and then speak with that seller. Because they are raising their hand and contacting me, they provide their contact info when I speak with them. I may focus my marketing just on certain neighborhoods I am interested in or on certain demographic based criteria like absentee owners or properties that do not have mortgages at all.

Other bird dogs, wholesalers, real estate investors and real estate entrepreneurs will get a list of foreclosure properties from their title company or often paid subscription based compilation services. I’ve done that, but it is not my favorite method.

If you’ve identified a property and are trying to figure out who the seller is you can check the tax record to find who the registered owner and the contact information they used when they last updated their info with the county. With their name, you can dial 411 on your phone to find their telephone number. Some mobile phone providers include 411 for free (like Cricket). Others will charge you $1 or something to do a search for you and provide that information. You can try to search for them on the web and there are some great websites like and Google for trying to find phone numbers, but calling 411 from your phone has been the most effective in my experience.

There are also services provided to “track people down”. Try doing a search for “skip tracking” in your favorite search engine. I rarely use this approach as I tend to put out marketing and have sellers call me, but if I recall it will probably cost you about $40 to $60 to have them find the person for you so you can contact them.

If I missed your question completely or if you were asking about something else, please let me know.

Or, if there is anything else that I can do to help, please let me know. Thank you and keep it up… you can do this business if you commit to it.

James you hit the nail directly on the head! Thank you this helped me tremendously. I have many props that I’m attempting to wholesale that are vacant and distressed and am trying to discover how to go about getting the names of the owners and their contact information. What you replied worked and also gave me additional help.

What are your favorite marketing tools to cause sellers to raise their hand?

Thanks for saying that. I do appreciate the encouragement and feedback that it is helpful to you (and hopefully others as well).

Yes, vacant properties can definitely be a sign of distress.

The second part of what I mentioned is probably what you’re looking for then. That should prove useful and valuable for you, but if you need more help, let me know.

Personally, I prefer direct mail postcards as my favorite marketing tool. I posted a sample of my postcard to this forum before if you want to check my past posts to see a copy of that. Of course, there are dozens of other methods I’ve used over the years to find properties, but postcards are relatively inexpensive at about 35 cents each, are largely socially acceptable compared to many other guerrilla marketing tactics that many others opt to use, can be scaled up or down depending on how busy you want to be, can be used to turn deal flow on or (mostly) off at will, are highly leveraged, allow you to measure response rates which allows you to improve response rates through testing, allow you to be laser targeted to the types of sellers or properties you are interested in to limit waste and probably several other things that I am forgetting. So, I like them a lot.

As I mentioned though, you don’t have be James Orr… you can be you. I had many many calls with one of my mentors over the years (one that I recorded) were we would be discussing finding deals. We had very, very different philosophies and techniques for doing it. He was Brent. I was James. Neither of us was wrong since we were both very effective with getting the results we wanted. Pick what you want to use and improve it so that it gets you the results you want.

I hope that helps, but let me know if I can help in any other way.

Thanks James for being generous with the advice. I noticed your website, I’ll join it. Owners in my area often times block their numbers from 411 maybe because they moved…How else can I reach them since I have their name?

Thanks for the reply.

I usually get sellers to raise their hands and contact me.

I was not even aware you could remove yourself from 411. You could hire a skip tracer to find them if you really need to find them or go on to the next seller to help.