Skip to Content

How to Find Absentee Homeowners for Free

Are you wondering how to find absentee homeowners for free? If YES, here are 5 tips to find absentee homeowners for free. An absentee owner is a property owner who does not live in the said property or the said property is no longer the absentee owner’s present place of residence. In most situations, absentee owners stay out of the area and only use the said property as a rental.

These types of homeowners are also not always involved in the day-to-day management of the property. If the property is being rented, they prefer to seek the expertise of a property management company to manage the daily operations.

Absentee homeowners own properties primarily to take advantage of property appreciation in the area. These owners may not be so eager to get rid of their property. They see the value in their assets but would always consider making money in a sale. Have it in mind that locating these types of homeowners can be tricky and finding them through a purchased absentee list can become quite costly especially if you don’t finally secure leads that convert to sales.

Absentee owner lists are a great way for real estate investors to keep their pipeline full. But they also make great sources of leads for agents and property managers. Vacant homes stay empty and in many cases become desolate due factors such as lack of finances, family mishandling, or just lack of real estate knowledge. This creates and enables a platform for an investor to come in.

One notable fact about absentee owners versus other groups of property owners is that they are likely to either sell their property or seek help with their landlord duties. Owing to that, reaching out to absentee owners with the right marketing message is more practical and cheaper than direct mailing with generic messaging, or even cold calling every home.

Simple Ways to Find Absentee Homeowners for Free

Note that the best way to find a free absentee homeowner list is to create one; however there are other simple means to consider. Although they are not 100% reliable, they are still worth the try.

  1. Browse Long-Term Rental Listings

Although not directly regarded as an absentee owner list, but you can get lucky and find absentee owners by browsing rental listings on Craigslist or other popular rental websites, or even your local paper. Start with searching for listings that seem to be posted by an individual landlord as opposed to a property management company. Note that this works for contacting owners, but may not work to build a list of properties, especially since they do not include the address.

  1. Browse Airbnb and VRBO listings

Almost the same way you leverage the long-term rental listings, you can find the owners of short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and VRBO. Also, just like with long-term rentals, you still won’t get the address. If you are quite eager to achieve a result, you could drive a general area or maybe even use Google maps and try to match the address to the picture. Although there are more uncomplicated ways of finding absentee owners, you could, as just mentioned, ride through a market to find potential opportunities. This is a common practice known as Driving for Dollars.

  1. Driving for Dollars

Driving for dollars is about going out to find homes that have signs of “neglect”. If you choose to drive around an area searching for non-owner-occupied properties, there are certain things you’ll have to keep your eye out for. These things may include;

  • Long-term rentals: Keep your eyes open for rent signs posted out front, little to no outdoor décor with plain, high grass, or weed patches are key signs to look for when identifying a potential home with an absentee owner.
  • Short-term rentals: Ensure you keep your eyes open for the clear signs of a vacancy during the offseason. Digital door locks are one very crucial one!
  • Vacation homes: Also look for signs of vacancy during the offseason in vacation settings, in addition, look for more personalization and customization of the home and property.
  1. Navigate Tax Records

You can also find absentee homeowners by leveraging the tax records in your local area. By comparing tax records with the property addresses of prospective properties, you can easily know owners who are not living in the property. Note that when a homeowner’s primary place of residence doesn’t match the property it more or less screams an absentee homeowner. Have it in mind that expert real estate professionals can leverage this information for a direct mail campaign or another marketing tool, mainly if you see a lucrative opportunity.

  1. Cold Calling

Generally, for decades, cold calling has been used by investors to get in touch with prospects who might not even know them.The main aim is to locate a prospect that is open to negotiation and would want to sell their property if they no longer stay there.

Although it might take time to achieve results with cold calling, it can be an efficient way to expand your marketing outreach and find absentee owners without investing so much.

However, before you start cold calling to turn prospects into potential leads, take your time to look into cold calling best practices. Learning, doing your research, and understanding the intricacies of cold calling ahead of time will help you turn any cold call into a beneficial conversation.


Real estate is an industry centered on leads and networks, the more people you can contact that suits your profile, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. Note that a good and reliable list of absentee homeowners can be the stimulation your business needs. The leads could help you close deals that might change your life. Any time spent comparing tax records with property addresses or going neighborhood to neighborhood searching for homes can indeed lead to good business profits, therefore consider these free outlets mentioned above.