Multi family real estate is an asset type that is relatively easy to understand, underwrite, and add value to over time.
It’s been a long-time favorite for investors—from every day, hobbyist investors, to large institutional investors.
That requires a large variety of CRE professionals to service the sector, including appraisers, lenders, brokers, contractors, and more.
In short, real estate professionals of all kinds are looking for multi family business, and so they all want to find and get in contact with property owners.
Here, we’ll show you the best ways to find owners of multi family real estate and how you can access their contact information and win their business.
How to Find and Connect with Multi Family Property Owners
There are several ways to find multi family property owners.
Many of the free search functions depend on the property location.
Some municipalities provide robust property and ownership information online for anyone to search.
Other municipalities require people to submit formal requests for information, or require people to visit a clerk’s office to pull the records themselves.
Paid platforms like Reonomy or ProspectNow allow you to search and find multifamily property owners across the US and access their contact information.
Below, we’ll take a look at the different ways to locate multi family property owners in any US location—using public records, Reonomy, and a few other sources, like local chambers of commerce and brokerage firms.
Public Records Multi Family Property Owner Search
Many people will start a multi family property owner search by scouring the local public records.
Why? They’re free. And for a long time, they were actually the most reliable option.
If you have enough information on an owner, finding them through public records shouldn’t be a huge hassle.
Deeds and property assessment cards are generally the two public records sources that can piece you into the ownership behind a multi family property.
First, we’ll look at how to find those records.
Registry of Deeds
A deed is the legal document used to convey the ownership rights to a property. It usually contains the name of the seller (the Grantor) and the buyer (the Grantee).
The deed will specify the exact location of the property, the sales price, and the date the property was sold.
Deeds are considered public record and are usually recorded at the Registry of Deeds, or in some places, with the County Clerk.
Say you wanted to find out who owned a multi family property in Boston, Massachusetts.
You’d visit masslandrecords.com and then select “Suffolk” County. From there, you can search for deeds based on owner (or business) name, address, document type (in this case, deed) or by date the document was recorded.
Depending on the location, property taxes are collected at either the local or county level. The taxing authority generally posts property tax records online for public viewing.
These records are usually discoverable by property address. Once you locate the property address, the assessor’s database will usually indicate the owner of that property.
In the example below, we see the assessor’s card indicates 399 Congress LLC is the owner of record for the property at 399 Congress St, Boston.
In order to find out the true owner of this multi family property, you’d then need to take your search one step further to find out who the individuals are behind the LLC, which usually requires searching the state’s business database.
You could also use a tool like Reonomy to see LLC owners and their contact information (more on that later).
Building Department Records
Another way to find multi family property owner information is to search the local building department’s records.
For instance, say a commercial solar panel installer is interested in drumming up business amongst the owners of new multi family properties with at least 50 units.
One way to do so is by searching building department records to see what permits have recently been issued.
If there is a new permit for a building type that meets that description, then the contractor can reach out to whomever the owner is listed on the approved building permit.
Local Chambers of Commerce
You can also identify multi family property owners by reaching out to the local Chamber of Commerce near the subject property.
Many commercial real estate owners are involved in their chambers, and the chamber may be able to point you in the right direction if you’re trying to connect with a specific multi family property owner.
Commercial Property Owners Database
If you’d like more detailed search options, and more information on individual owners, you can turn to a commercial property owners database like Reonomy or ProspectNow.
The Reonomy Platform can be used to do the following:
- Search multi family property owners by name and/or address
- Discover property owners based on their asset’s sale, debt, and tax history
- Discover property owners based on the size and age of their asset(s)
- Pierce LLCs and access the contact information of true property owners
All of this can be done in any US county, for any asset type that’s not a single-family home.
You can filter a search for a number of different multi family sub-classes, including duplexes, triplexes, mobile home parks, nursing homes, dorms, frat/sorority houses, and more.
ProspectNow is an online database that provides users with information about multi family property owners, including the owner’s contact information.
The platform also provides predictive analytics, which helps users identify which properties are most likely to sell in the next 12 months.
Commercial real estate brokerage companies can also provide tremendous value to those looking for multi family property owner information in any geography.
CRE brokers typically have a strong understand of their local markets, the major players, and can typically provide guidance as to a particular owner’s needs.
Here are a few national multi family brokerage firms that have offices in cities across the U.S.
CBRE’s Multi Family division is ranked the #1 apartment brokerage firm in the U.S.
CBRE Multifamily provides investment sales and debt and structured finance services to multi family client ranging from small private investors to large public entities.
JLL is another leading multi family broker that offers both leasing, sales and financing guidance to multi family property owners.
The brokers at JLL are a great resource for those interested in finding multi family ownership information in any geography.
Marcus & Millichap
The Marcus & Millichap brokerage team is a leader in the private and institutional multi family investment sales market.
Their National Multi Housing Group (NMHG) focuses on the private client market with transactions that generally range from $1 million to $20 million.
The team also has an Institutional Property Advisors team that specializes in transactions above $20 million.
These national brokerage firms tend to focus on the larger multi family product types.
Smaller, more independently owned and operated brokerage companies can also be a great resource for those interested in identifying multi family property owner information in the range of 1 to 10-unit buildings.
Identifying Owner Needs Off-Market
Finding these owners is one thing, but it’s also incredibly helpful to be able to build more in-depth insights and make better decisions if you plan on connecting with them.
Anyone who is looking to buy, sell, or service multi family properties may find these tools and resources helpful:
On top of what is mentioned above, the Reonomy Platform allows you to thoroughly research properties and owners off-market to see whether they might be:
- Likely to sell
- Likely to refinance
- In need of building services
- Looking to buy more assets
- A recent buyer/seller
Information on building and lot, sales history, debt history, ownership, tax history, and much more can be found in the same place that you searched and found the property.
It’s also in the same place as where you can find property owner phone numbers, email, and mailing addresses.
ESRI has a robust GIS mapping tool that can help commercial real estate professionals identify trends, patterns and opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to uncover.
For instance, GIS can provide valuable information about how a property is performing relative to its peers.
If an apartment building is leasing for lower rates than its surrounding competitors, maybe this is an opportunity for a property manager to pitch their business and help the owner reposition the property for greater success.
PolicyMap is another useful mapping tool. Users can layer on different sets of data within a specific geography.
It’s a way to monitor things like building permit violations or properties in default, which could represent an opportunity for an investor, developer, or even a lender willing to refinance the property at a better rate.
LandVision provides property information, including multi family property ownership information when available, to commercial real estate professionals in search of off-market opportunities.
LandVision also helps builders and developers with their due diligence processes.
National Association of Home Builders – Multifamily Council
The National Association of Home Builders has a Multifamily Council that represents NAHB members who build multi family housing of all types.
NAHB is a great resource for individuals looking to connect with multi family owners
Most people think of Zillow as a general marketplace for MLS-listed homes for sale. But Zillow is another great tool for those trying to identify potential multi family home owners with off-market needs.
Zillow searches can be utilized a few ways. The first way it to search for recently-sold multi family properties.
An alternative approach is to search for properties listed as in “pre-foreclosure,” which means the lender has already begun initial foreclosure proceedings.
Properties in pre-foreclosure are often in need of several services, from better property management to attorneys, new property managers and more.
NOAA Storm Prediction Center
Anyone who is involved in multi family property restoration, such as builders and contractors, should consider using the NOAA/National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
The Storm Prediction Center provides valuable, real-time data about upcoming storms, ranging from severe thunderstorms to tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes.
Where there are severe storms, there are usually multi family property owners who will be in need of contractor support on short notice.