Residential Data: How to Turn a Vacant List to a Vacant List on Steroids

Jan 06, 2024

 By Evan Votilla, REI Systems Expert

Real estate investing has long been a game of numbers and lists, with the 'vacant list' being a go-to resource for many. But here's the catch - this list, which comes from the USPS data on properties where mail isn’t being delivered, is often outdated and, frankly, overworked.

Why the Traditional Method Falls Short

The USPS rarely updates this list, and since it's one of the most commonly used resources by investors and wholesalers, the market saturation is incredibly high. The result? Many properties are just follow-ups in someone else's system. This is the old way, and if you’re still doing this, you’re missing out on some real opportunities.

Our Game-Changing Approach

However, there’s a twist in the tale. There are actually many hidden gems in this list, but they’re often overlooked because of the traditional skip-tracing and marketing methods. That’s where our unique 10-step approach changes the game. Here's a few of the steps for the scope:

  • Add Street View Images: By adding street views to our spreadsheet, we get a real sense of the property’s condition. Well-maintained houses on the vacant list? They're likely not interested in selling.
  • Analyze Ages and Images: This helps us understand the situation better. We focus on properties owned by people who are significantly older or deceased.
  • Target the Right Relatives: Instead of reaching out blindly, we strategically skip trace relatives of these property owners. Our system is designed to contact them systematically.
  • Systematic Outreach: We’ve set up automation and systems to reach out to these relatives. And here’s the interesting part - relatives are often willing to help. They’re usually more approachable and responsive than the actual property owners.
  • Creating Win-Win Situations: Many of these elderly property owners need funds for healthcare or other needs. Selling a vacant property in a good neighborhood can be a win-win for everyone involved.


While others are chasing their tails with the same old methods, our 10-step process is about smart investing. It’s about finding those overlooked opportunities and turning them into profitable deals. In real estate, success isn’t just about having the right list; it’s about knowing what to do with it.

Want to learn more about our innovative approach? Dive into our method and start seeing the vacant list in a whole new light.

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