How Do We Get Vacant Property Data?
We buy multiple data streams from multiple sources, aggregate it, combine it and filter it. Originally, co-founder Chris Richter was buying the data himself, aggregating, correcting, and managing the database for approximately $16,000 per year, including the developer costs. In reality anyone with the “right skills” can do it. But we are able to provide it at a lower cost to our users because we are able to work on a national scale.
On the first and fifteenth of every month, our systems update over 120 million property records from across the United States. This information is transferred into our database and hosted our servers, then this data is parsed, appended, and run through algorithms that segment the data to make it useable.
Additionally, on the fifteenth, three separate Vacant property data-sets are blended to create the most accurate vacant property data set available anywhere. This list typically contains between 1.8 and 2 million properties across the county prior to our “cleansing” process.
At this stage the blended list is filtered to remove properties that do not contain complete information or have characteristics that would make them unusable. This cleansing process uses an address verification system known as CASS, and typically cuts the list into about half and we are left with a clean and up to date vacant list. This list is then used to append against our national property list and we have magic!
Now that we’ve found the properties, we need to find the owners (sellers). Since the records provided by the county, and by proxy the title company, are often out of date, we must update the mailing addresses. So, at this point the whole list is run through a NCOA or National Change of Address to ensure that our users have the most up to date address for the sellers possible. There are times when they have no new address, but, this process gives our users a huge advantage in seeing many non owner occupied properties that the no one else is seeing.
Last but not least, the complete and clean dataset is then transferred to a live database that a user can access through his or her interface like a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, also known as Find Motivated Sellers Now.
Can I get it from a title company?
No, the title company doesn’t collect this information. They title company provides information that they aggregate from the county records. This tell you if a person is recievening mail at the subject property or at a separate mailing address. If they are receiving mail at a separate address, this is known as non owner occupied, typically a renter is the occupant.
This is NOT the same thing as Vacant. Vacant means no one is living at the property, it is vacant. For example, if someone dies, the family doesn’t file a probate but the house is empty the property will probably not show up in a non owner occupied list from a title company despite the fact it is vacant. The only people that know it is vacant at this point are people with access to the find motivated sellers now system.