it sounds to me like your day job ought to prepare you to be the expert!
Do you have all the standard skip trace subscription software?
You first need to determine if the property has sufficient merit to pursue before chasing people. If there's 50% + equity, I'd considering pursuing.
Determine if owner living or deceased. Check your state's death index in addition to the Federal SSDI site. If deceased, death certificate often lend a clue by identifying next of kin. Obits help, too, if available.
Surprisingly, Ancestry has a good deal of genealogical research already completed, too.
Former associates, neighbors, and community affiliations like church and social clubs can help, especially in small towns.
Lastly, try social media. I've had some great success finding people, even seniors 70+ on Facebook. Maybe Michaela Graham will chime in (she's very talented at this).