Land plots have the market share and developability that make them a great area of opportunity for investors, brokers, and service providers across the U.S.
Just like commercial properties, however, it can be very difficult to clarify the data needed to understand land owning structures and identify decision-makers.
Here, we’ll breakdown how your team can consistently clarify land owners through data—fueling more efficient prospecting, and more informed business decisions.
How to Find Land Owners
Land ownership records today can be sourced through several online platforms, including county clerk’s websites, public databases, and proprietary services such as Reonomy.
These resources can vary widely in the depth of the data they offer, the regions they cover, and even their user interfaces.
Below, we will go through a few specific examples of how to use public records and other online platforms to find land ownership information.
Vacant Land Owner Search
Reonomy Property Intelligence for Finding Land and Owner Details
You might be thinking “If properties aren’t listed, how am I supposed to find them, let alone their respective owners?”
As we mentioned before, property intelligence platforms like Reonomy can totally streamline and strengthen your off-market search. With Reonomy, you no longer have to spend valuable time taking trips to your local county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office to perform a property search. Instead, Reonomy empowers you to identify off-market properties across the nation and uncover the insights needed to turn those opportunities into deals—all in a couple clicks.
Most importantly, you can find the respective owners and their contact information, like mailing addresses and phone numbers, for the land parcels you want to pursue. Even if a piece of land is owned by an LLC, Reonomy enables you to “pierce” that umbrella entity to uncover true owners, mortgage signatories and more.
Make contact with owners with speed and ease. Understand the owner you are contacting by viewing their ownership portfolio within the Reonomy platform.
This allows you to dig deeper into the history and details of other land and property they own to help understand each property in true detail, and how to best approach that owner with a deal opportunity.
Ownership records help when trying to understand the current owner’s motivations and intent. An owner search will show how long the current owner has held the land for and what they paid for the parcel of land.
Both of these will help when making an inference on what the owner intends to with the property.
For example, the longer someone has held a property, the more likely they are to sell that property. Additionally, the price the owner paid for the property can suggest what they expect to receive for the property now.
The intent of an owner looking to sell can be further analyzed using robust property intelligence. If an owner has owned the land for a short period and is looking to sell, they may value the speed of sale. Understanding the intent of the owner is valuable when making contact. It allows you to tailor your approach. It lets you also find a scenario whereby meeting their needs can also benefit your own.
Prospecting with Reonomy
Harnessing over 50 million properties and parcels across the country, Reonomy allows you to quickly find land owners across the nation—in any state, city, county, zip code, Opportunity Zone, and all the way down to a street name or an exact address.
You can use Reonomy’s property search tool to look specifically for vacant land or a number of land sub-types, including agricultural land, residential vacant land, commercial vacant land, mobile home lots, forests, marshland, recreational vacant land, and more.
Additionally, you can sift through the more than 30 million land parcels nationwide by location, lot acreage, zoning, sales history, debt history, and ownership.
If you would like to specifically search for land within an Opportunity Zone, you can use the filter located in the Building and Lot tab.
Land Ownership Records
Public records are a great place to start your search for land owner information online. Charting the history of local plots, public records divulge information on the chain of ownership deeds for a particular piece of land.
For example, if you’re interested in a parcel of land in your local area, you might begin with a search of your local county or district official’s website. You will be able to uncover such details as current land owners and sale dates history by simply looking up the plot’s address.
The sites below are a few examples of public land records resources available online.
US Land Records
The U.S. Land Records website offers data on local land records throughout a number of counties in 16 states, including Texas, New York, Michigan, and Illinois.
The site lets you select the state of your choice first, and then redirects you to the state’s land records page, where you can select a county and proceed to the actual search tool.
NETR Online is a great place to discover local county agencies that hold land ownership records. The online directory links each state’s relevant offices via an interactive map.
For example, the Oregon Public Records section lists each county and its agencies housing local public records. If an office doesn’t offer online access to their records, a phone number is provided.
NETR Online also features a Property Data Store, where you can purchase property reports, parcel maps, deed copies, browse other comparable plots, and more from hundreds of counties.
Alternatively to using NETR, you can search Google for your local public records source and visit their website directly from the search results.
Jackson County Property Data Online
Jackson County, Oregon for example, provides access to a wide range of data including ownership, sales history, assessed values, tax history, land use permits, zoning, maps, aerial photos, and more through its Property Data Online website.
The search tool allows you to look up a property by address, subdivision and lot, account number, and more. If you don’t have any of these details available, the Jackson County website also provides a mapping tool that enables you to pan, zoom, and identify the plot of your interest directly on the map.
Information such as current and past owners, sales history, and appraisal data allow you to determine more accurately the value of the land from an investment standpoint, and the best way to approach the present owners based on past trends.
Additional data such as zoning information can also be invaluable to prospective investors, as it typically indicates whether or not the land can be used for certain types of property development in the future.
The Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS)
Another great example of an online database offering land ownership information is New York City’s ACRIS website. It contains various data on land and property transfers and ownership for the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
If you already have details on the section, block, and lot, you can use the search feature to find documents related to the land in question.
If you only have the address of the property, enter the details in the “Find Addresses and Parcels” search, which will return details on the section, block, and lot.
You can then fill in these details on the “Search Property Records” page, and gain access to records containing information such as property and land ownership, sale price, and more.
Being able to quickly procure land owner’s details through the ACRIS database can help you snap up a desirable New York City plot.
The County Clerk’s Office and Other Alternatives
Even though more and more counties across the United States are making their land and property records available online, you may still come across a locale that is yet to digitize its documents.
In such cases, you can always rely on Reonomy to access the ownership data you are looking for.
Other last resort options include taking a trip down to the local recorder’s office and reviewing the documents there, or reaching out to neighboring property and business owners that may know who owns the plot of land you are looking at.
Land Owner Map Search
In addition to the text-based search platforms we discussed in the section above, there are also a number of online map search tools that you can use to find the owners of specific land parcels.
MangoMap provides interactive, easily-searchable maps of different counties around the United States.
The maps include a number of different layers, allowing you to toggle road names, addresses, elevation, lot lines, yearly sales, city limits, flood hazards, and more.
If you don’t have an exact address, refining your search with the various layers can help you track down plots of land you may be interested in and their ownership information.
In addition, if you are looking to acquire land for future developments, these data layers can help you evaluate plots of land before you invest – for example, you may decide to pass on a plot because of its elevation or its proximity to a flood zone.
AcreValue is another online map-based tool that allows you to search land throughout the United States and locate owners and their contact information.
The site’s GIS maps compile agricultural data, farmland values, soil productivity ratings, crop mixes, and parcel ownership information.
AcreValue has plans at $9, $29, and $49 per month. To search parcels by owner and obtain their mailing addresses, you must be on the mid-tier plan ($29/mo) or higher.
Finding Land Owner Contact Information
Once you have identified the owner of a land parcel you are interested in, you probably would like to get in touch with them.
Again, you can turn to Reonomy in order to obtain contact information for the LLC, entity, or individual that owns the property.
After running your land search as discussed earlier, you can simply visit the profile card of a property and go to the Ownership tab to see the name of the owner.
If the owner on record is an LLC, you can also see the individuals associated with it, along with their contact information. Specifically, you can see phone numbers, emails, and mailing addresses for all individuals associated with the parcel ownership.
Having this invaluable information in hand allows you to reach out directly to owners and avoid gatekeepers.
Land Owner List
When using Reonomy to search for landowners, there is a lot of information that can be garnered from your search.
Depending on what you are looking for, plan to use Reonomy to make lists, label either properties or owners, and create groups with which you can export a list of contacts or properties with ownership contact details.
Export and contact leads that are directly relevant to you. One of the benefits of curating your own lead list is the function of personalization in your messaging based on their particular owner portfolio or land of choice.
The other benefit is that you are directly calling, emailing or mailing the decision maker for the vacant land.
Landing Your Next Investment
Thanks to the digitization of property records, finding land owner information is no longer a laborious task.
Taking advantage of the land ownership data available online can help you evaluate the value of a plot from an investor’s perspective, and can save you time and money as you reach out to owners directly.
With the above resources at your disposal, finding your next land investment should be no trouble at all.