The Ultimate Guide to Batch File Skip Tracing for Real Estate

Not long ago, skip tracing and direct mail had a battle in the real estate colosseum. Skip tracing won. But, many tried batch file skip tracing for real estate and returned to direct mail after struggling to get the results they’d hoped for.

Why did this happen? How did the skip tracing train get derailed?

Even though skip tracing for real estate is faster and more efficient for getting motivated sellers and cash buyers on the phone, you still have to do it correctly. Otherwise—just like direct mail—it won’t work.

So, how do you make skip tracing work? What’s the secret to replacing or supplementing your direct mail efforts with skip tracing?

That’s what we’re going to talk about. But first, let’s talk about why you should use batch file skip tracing for real estate, because we understand your skepticism.

Why Use Batch File Skip Tracing for Real Estate?

If skip tracing is unfamiliar to you, it’s essentially a method for locating individuals based on minimal information. Debt collectors, repossession agencies, private investigators, and various other businesses commonly employ skip tracing to locate individuals, particularly those attempting to evade contact.

In real estate, skip tracing functions with a unique approach. Simply possessing a phone number or email address is often sufficient, eliminating the need for serving legal papers or similar procedures. Consequently, individuals are generally not actively avoiding contact, ideally facilitating smoother communication processes.

This distinction enables the bulk conduct of skip tracing for real estate, facilitating the rapid generation of numerous leads.

Now, is skip tracing superior to direct mail? In many respects, yes.

Direct mail is a proven method, likely to remain effective for real estate wholesalers. However, skip tracing can offer greater efficiency and effectiveness if executed correctly. Moreover, it’s not an either-or scenario; employing a combination of direct mail and skip tracing constitutes a viable strategy.

Here’s why skip tracing for real estate proves remarkably efficient and effective.


People often compare skip tracing to direct mail on a one-to-one cost basis. If a skip trace costs a dollar and a direct mailer costs a dollar, it might seem that the costs are equivalent, correct?

However, it’s not quite that simple. Direct mail typically requires multiple touches to elicit a response. Some estimates suggest it takes seven touches to generate a lead from direct mail contact. Even if a response is obtained in four touches, that still amounts to four dollars per lead from direct mail.

Contrastingly, with skip tracing, you pay for the information once. Subsequently, you can initiate calls or emails as many times as necessary, incurring no additional costs.

Thus, when considering the entire cost of generating warm leads with each method, batch file skip tracing emerges as the more economical option.

Speed to Contact

Direct mail typically takes at least a day or two to arrive, with delivery potentially extending to four or five days.

Subsequently, the response time from potential sellers varies. If highly motivated, they might reach out the same day they receive your mailer. Alternatively, they could wait until subsequent mailers arrive before responding.

In contrast, skip tracing allows for immediate contact with individuals upon receiving the list of potential sellers. Often, a bulk skip trace yields phone numbers within minutes, enabling almost immediate cold calling upon receipt of the list. Consequently, the likelihood of losing a deal to another wholesaler diminishes significantly.

Follow Up

The easy sales always get snapped up first, which is why they say the money is in the follow-up.

Using direct mail, if a person doesn’t call you back, your only recourse is to send another mailer.

However, with a phone number or email obtained from a batch file skip trace, you can initiate an email drip campaign or follow up with another phone call. In essence, you can persistently pursue tougher leads until they convert.


You send direct mail to prompt people to call you, making the ultimate goal to get them on the phone. The more people you engage with on the phone, the more deals you’re likely to close. That’s the bottom line.

If people don’t call you, you’re unlikely to close any deals.

Skip tracing, by virtue of getting people on the phone, yields better ROI. There’s no way around it.

How to Use Batch File Skip Tracing for Real Estate Wholesaling

You can leverage skip tracing to orchestrate entire real estate deals, streamlining the process of locating both buyers and sellers through an almost entirely automated approach. Your primary task remains engaging with the buyers and sellers directly.

The skip tracing methodology remains consistent whether you’re identifying buyers or sellers, constituting a universal process applicable to both scenarios. It’s adaptable to lists of either sellers or buyers.

As a real estate professional, your journey typically commences with a list of names and addresses sourced from various avenues such as vacancy lists, code violations lists, or purchased real estate lists available at platforms like Regardless of the source, it’s customary to initiate with names and addresses.

Should you possess a list of addresses without accompanying names, fret not. Utilizing batch file skip tracing can furnish you with the requisite names for your list.

To begin, ensure your list is formatted correctly. Most batch file skip tracing services mandate lists in one of the following formats:

  • .csv
  • .txt,
  • Microsoft Excel.

Typically, purchased lists are already provided in these formats, negating the need for file type conversion.

Using a spreadsheet editor, organize each piece of information into its designated column. For real estate lists, this entails columns for:

  • Name
  • Physical address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • County (although not mandatory for acquiring contact information)

Once your list is structured accordingly, you’re poised to initiate the skip trace process. Here are the steps:

Upload your list to a batch file skip trace service.

  • Specify the data you wish the batch file skip trace to uncover.
  • If you only possess a list of addresses, commence with a batch file skip trace to acquire names. Subsequently, proceed to upload the list of names and addresses for a further batch file skip trace aimed at retrieving phone numbers and email addresses.
  • In the case of a list comprising names and addresses, designate phone numbers and email addresses as the desired information for the batch file skip trace to retrieve.

Get your results.

Results are typically available within a few minutes, contingent upon the size of your list. However, for larger lists, the processing time may be extended.

Most batch file skip trace providers will notify you via email once your results are ready.

Subsequently, armed with a list of phone numbers and email addresses, you can initiate cold calling if desired.

Nevertheless, it’s probable that some entries will still lack either phone numbers or email addresses. To address this:

Utilize your spreadsheet editor to extract the entries lacking information and compile them into a separate list.

Subject this separate list to a more comprehensive batch file skip trace.

Should your batch file skip trace provider offer an enhanced service, such as the Searchbug Premium Append Service, consider running the remaining list of entries through this premium search.

By following this procedure, you’ll maximize the acquisition of phone numbers and email addresses, ensuring an ample pool of prospects to contact. This method is applicable for both buyer and seller identification, as elaborated further ahead.

Tips on Using Batch File Skip Tracing for Real Estate

As with any tool, there are effective and ineffective ways to utilize batch file skip tracing for real estate.

The primary reason individuals may initially attempt skip tracing but later abandon it is due to the potential pitfalls along the way. Unlike the straightforward process of sending out mailers, skip tracing requires a bit more finesse.

Here’s how to ensure that skip tracing proves successful for your real estate endeavors.

Don’t Go Cheap

The age-old advice, “you get what you pay for,” remains pertinent when it comes to batch file skip tracing services. Despite the abundance of companies offering free or deeply discounted skip traces, these bargain options often yield subpar data quality.

Free or heavily discounted skip tracing services frequently furnish outdated or disconnected phone numbers and email addresses. In some cases, they may fail to retrieve any information yet still charge for the search.

If an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is. Skip tracing services that advertise searches for a mere penny per phone number (or even less) are unlikely to provide a reliable list.

For dependable data, expect to pay around 15 cents per hit. While this may entail a slightly higher cost, the value of possessing a usable list far outweighs the expense.

Never Call Numbers on the DNC List

The DNC list, standing for “DO NOT CALL,” serves as a registry for individuals who have explicitly requested not to receive unsolicited calls. It’s crucial to adhere to this list to respect the preferences of phone number owners.

Therefore, it’s imperative to cleanse your lists of any phone numbers listed on the DNC registry. Utilize a phone validator to identify numbers on the DNC list, and efficiently remove them using any spreadsheet editor.

This proactive step is essential for safeguarding against potential repercussions associated with batch file skip tracing.

Use an Autodialer

A significant disparity between direct mail and skip tracing lies in the vast volume of phone numbers you’ll encounter. Running a single batch file skip trace could yield hundreds of phone numbers.

To enhance the efficiency of the cold calling process, employing an autodialer is essential. Even if you delegate cold calling to a team, an autodialer is indispensable. Without it, the conversion of cold leads into warm leads becomes excessively time-consuming.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

The logistical intricacies of skip tracing surpass those of direct mail. While direct mail merely involves sending your list to a contractor and issuing payment, batch file skip tracing necessitates running skip traces on your leads’ lists, filtering out numbers on the DNC list, and integrating the list into your cold calling system. Consequently, skip tracing entails more moving parts.

Nevertheless, each task involved is straightforward. A virtual assistant can proficiently handle all aspects of skip tracing and list management. By outsourcing these tasks, you can concentrate on lead conversion and deal closure.

Outsourcing skip tracing and list management enables rapid scaling of your real estate wholesaling business, even without securing office space.

Use Batch Skip Tracing to Find Buyers

Streamlining the process of locating motivated sellers through skip tracing may result in an abundance of sellers, potentially surpassing the number of available buyers. This situation can prove challenging, especially when managing multiple contracted properties.

To ensure equilibrium between the efficiency of finding sellers and buyers, it’s essential to employ skip tracing for both endeavors. By doing so, you can maintain a balanced pipeline and effectively manage your real estate transactions.

Closing the Deal

Leveraging skip tracing techniques allows for the efficient identification of both buyers and sellers in the real estate market, enabling the creation of comprehensive lists necessary for achieving substantial sales figures consistently each month. By employing skip tracing for both buyer and seller prospecting, one can effectively manage and balance their pipeline, ensuring a steady flow of leads to facilitate successful transactions. This strategic approach streamlines the process, maximizing efficiency and enhancing the potential for closing deals.