Does any one have any suggestion on how to overcome returned mail on direct mail campaigns?
I have driven several neighborhoods, identified distressed properties visually, then found the tax billing address for owner occupied properties and because the property has been abandoned the postal service is returning my yellow letter. Obviously the owner needs someone to solve their problem, but they are also not physically there.
Suggestions? I need some creative solutions to contact owners of records etc. Preferably their phone number or new address?
Hi @Jibran Najmi ! Where are you getting the tax billing addresses? Are you using county assessor data? I know when I pull owner data (from RealQuest Pro), it includes when that data was updated. I'm not sure if that helps much, but it would give you an idea of how recent the address was updated. Let me know if you have any questions about it!
I am using the MLS Tax Data through my access as a Realtor. It is a program called Tax Realist. The issue is that the data is "current" as it is of the owner of record. However, the "owner" has skipped town and has essentially abandoned the property. When I said direct mail to the address listed the post office returns it as undeliverable.
Yeah there are many solutions to overcoming your returned mail problem:
1) Ask neighbors - why? Cheapest and easy to do.
2) Anywho or any free online service but these often have outdated info and low probability of success but still free
3) County tax assessor's office to see if they have the owner's address - sounds like you tried this one.
4) Putting "Address Service Requested" and mailing to that address if they have a mailbox - you did this right?
5) Skiptracing (costs money though) - $5-10 (findtheseller, privateeye, TLO, etc.) - Used to be expensive. @Cornelius Garland posted in marketplace his company does for a lot cheaper in the marketplace. Knowledgeable
6) Full stalker mode - "Drew out his entire family tree from Intelius" lol @ Lloyd Stanton, it worked for him but only do this if it's a really good deal as it takes a lot of time
7) Stick a sign on their property saying you want to buy the home - nice and easy! Can re-use the sign too if they don't get stolen/vandalized lol
Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions.
Thanks for detailing the various options/choices. It does help to know if I tried everything. Could you elaborate on Address Service Requested?
How are they paying property tax if the tax office has a bum address? Does your tax office allow you to see the records of the years taxes were paid? Current? Also check the last deed transfer. If it passed due to a death you may get another name..a lead! My last house was an inherited house that the heir apparently just ignored. I bought it at auction. Also, did you check facebook?
For Address Service Requested, it forwards to known address. Here's the detailed information directly from USPS:
@Jibran Naomi this scenario is a great example of why I don't always say don't rely on mail to contact the owners of vacant properties. You obviously know you haven't reached the owner of the property when the mail is returned, but just because it hasn't been returned, doesn't mean you've reached the owner.
I've gotten deals where the owner had actually received a lot of mail from other investors, and wanted to sell, but never called any of them. The only reason I got those deals was because I called and got the owner on the phone. The two most common reasons are that they either don't think they can sell it for some reason, or they make think they don't even own it anymore. This sounds a little crazy, but it does indeed happen.
Definitely skip trace the owners and try to call them. If you have enough leads, I'm fairly confident you'll find some deceased owners on your list, but you won't know it until you skip trace them.
Also, pay attention to the ages of the owners when you skip trace them. If their skip trace reports show they are alive and should still be at that address, but they are pretty old, they may be deceased and there's just no record of it for the different databases to pick up the death record. You can do a quick google search for an obituary to try and confirm they have actually died.
Whether owner is alive or deceased, don't hesitate to call relatives if you can't reach the owner. Calling relatives will ultimately make the difference in whether or not you get some deals. The owners of distressed vacant properties tend to be harder to reach and you never know why you can't get them on the phone. Owner could be in jail, nursing home, mentally incompetent, working overseas, etc.... These are real scenarios I've encountered. I never would have known had I not skip traced the relatives after failing to contact the owner.