Technology

12 tools for sleuthing real estate leads

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Takeaways:

  • It’s easy to Google a property owner or real estate leads, but how do you fill in the blanks?
  • Real estate agents can tap a wide array of tools to fill in information gaps about contacts that can help them incubate transactions.
  • Spokeo, Intelius, PeopleSmart and other tech tools can help agents figure out who their client is and how to incentivize property owners.

When David Schoenbrun’s client said he wanted to buy a vacant home, the real estate agent put on his detective hat.

The Westlake Village, California-based real estate agent found the property owner’s name by searching tax records. He then plugged the name into the website Spokeo, a leading “people search platform,” to find the person’s phone number.

Dead end: The line was disconnected.

But Schoenbrun wasn’t finished.

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He then proceeded to call the phone numbers of all of the property owner’s relatives — information he also found on Spokeo.

“A week later, the owner’s brother called me back and said, ‘Yes, we need to sell that home,'” Schoenbrun said. “A little detective work goes a long way!”

Roberta Murphy, owner of San Diego Previews Real Estate, has also used Spokeo to drum up business.

When she gets an online lead that lacks crucial information, she enters the information she does have into Spokeo — say, an email address — to uncover the information that she doesn’t have, like the lead’s phone number, address and property address.

Real estate agents can tap a wide array of tools to fill in information gaps about contacts that can help them incubate transactions.

Spokeo is one of the most popular options among real estate agents. Another — one of the cheapest and newest options — is the mobile app TopConnecter.

Users can enter an address or tap a location on a map to see the name of a property’s owner. If they pay a buck, they can then access a wide range of additional data on the address — and an unlimited number of other addresses — for one month.

The data includes the property owner’s email, phone number, birthday, length of residence, occupation, income. It also shows the property’s value, square footage, most recent sale, number of residents, property taxes and mortgages.

Here are 10 more tools for filling in the blanks on real estate leads and property owners:

Intelius

Search information associated with emails, names, social networks and properties. Prices vary by type of report. Users can pay less per report by purchasing reports in bulk.

PeopleSmart

Search names, email addresses, property addresses and phone numbers for limited number of associated records. A $20 monthlong membership offers access to additional data, including previous addresses, public records, court records, civil records and business ownership.

PropertyShark.com

Sign up for a free account to see one property report, three comparable homes for an address per day and three results for property searches by owner name. Unlimited access costs $40 a month.

Sidekick

Matches email addresses with a person’s title, company, social media accounts and social media activity.

Rapportive

Free add-on tacks LinkedIn information onto emails in Gmail. Can show information including email sender’s photo, job and mutual contacts. Also can show location of sender, so users can “see if they’re nearby and arrange to meet.”

rapportive

Screenshot of email enhanced by Rapportive data

FullContact

Contact management software’s website reads: “FullContact pulls in all your contacts, automatically updates them with social profile information and photos, then syncs them back to the places you need them — so you always have a complete view of your connections.”

The product costs $10 a month.

Pipl.com

Search names, usernames and phone numbers for biographical and contact information, social media activity and more. Service is free, but no property data is available on the site.

BeenVerified

A $23 one-month membership lets you search names for current and past contact info, relatives and associates, criminal court records, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, properties and social networks.

Vibe

This free service claims to be the “fastest way to know everything about your contacts.” It matches emails with their senders’ social media information. The iPhone app supplements phone contacts with contacts’ social media information and lets users search names for contacts’ social media activity.

PeopleWise

Property reports cost $8 a pop. Reports on individuals start at $2 each.

Email Teke Wiggin.