When you're trying to find someone, especially a person you haven't been in contact with for a while, one of the first places you'll likely turn is the internet. While people tend to look to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Classmates.com for folks they used to know, it's often the case that people fall too far out of touch for them to easily be found by those methods. That's where reverse address directory search comes into the picture.
What is a Reverse Address Directory Search?
Performing a reverse address public search is about utilizing publicly available data, such as we find from phonebook entries, to identify where someone has lived before or is currently residing. There is a slew of other possible public records that can be utilized, such as lot records for properties, tax records, and newspaper articles. They may also dig into old internet archives of things like registered domain names and deleted social media accounts. All of these can provide breadcrumbs that can be followed, perhaps giving you a phone number to try to contact.
What's the Cost?
Most companies in the industry use a freemium business model. This means that basic searches and information are done for free, but you'll need to pay more for more thorough and aggressive searches. Paid options may include going through information from property liens and police records. They also frequently cobble together information from the publicly available databases of colleges and trade schools.
Why Use One?
While we think of the internet-connected world as one where you can find anybody, the reality is that people do still fall out of contact. Some especially private folks may go to some lengths, such as keeping their Facebook accounts closed off. The big internet search engines, such as Google and Bing, are also not very robust.
Another reason people use reverse address public search tools is when they're not certain who owns a property. If you're looking at real estate in an area and take a particular shine to a specific building, you might want to learn if there's any chance to buy. Without contact information on a sale sign, however, you may have a hard time trying to nail down who owns it.
Contacting someone out of the blue isn't a situation people take lightly. Be polite when using the information you've obtained, and try to be upfront about your motives.