Real Estate Marketing Ideas, Real Estate Lead Generation

How Absentee Owners Can Increase Your Real Estate Business

By Gretchen Gales Last Updated November 16, 2022 3 min read

When the market is lacking, or you’re at a loss on how to generate new leads, absentee property owners can be the answer when typical methods give you dead ends. 

How do you find absentee owners? What’s more important is identifying who counts as an absentee owner before using them to bump up your real estate business. 

What is an absentee owner? 

An absentee owner is a property owner who does not primarily reside at the home for one reason or another.  

Keep in mind absentee ownership is not the same as a vacant property, where no one owns or has a claim to the property. An absentee owner still owns the home despite not occupying it, meaning they don’t reside there most of the time or at all, depending on the home’s purpose.

Why are absentee owners good leads for real estate professionals?

One primary reason absentee owners make excellent leads is that they have a property that can be burdensome to handle after some time. 

This is especially true for those who have suddenly inherited property with no intention or knowledge of property management and do not plan to move into the home themselves. They may also lack the budget to maintain an extra property, especially if the home has not been paid off or has expensive property taxes.  

These owners look for a way to get the property out of their hands quickly. Absentee owner leads can make for quick turnarounds for listing new properties if you can snag them. 

Types of absentee owners

Trying to track down some leads? Absentee homeowners include a wide range of people. Here are a few to get you started on your search.  

Vacation homes

Whether a beach oasis or a retreat in the mountains, vacation homes are attractive properties. But when kids grow up and move away and regular family vacations aren’t on the radar, vacation homes can become expensive. 

Give the benefits of selling their vacation home, such as more money for retirement or less stress with managing one less thing on their plates.

Short- and long-term rental owners

Homeowners who rent out their home—either as long-term housing or as a quick way to take advantage of vacation housing apps—can tire of owning an additional property. 

Sometimes, being a landlord isn’t what people expect or is too much effort for their investment. Tending to tenants gets tiresome, even when the renters are lovely people. 

Target rental property owners by pointing out common pain points and how selling their property with you can fix them. 


If a property is in probate following a death, it is up to the executors (often a family member) of the will to manage it, including everything in the deceased’s estate. When times are already stressful, especially with grief, the last thing anyone wants to do is manage something as important as a property. 

Point out that the process can move faster with your services and leave time to grieve properly. 

Extended time out of town

For people with personal emergencies or other matters keeping them away from their primary residence, it may be easier to sell the home. Present the benefits of selling their residence when reaching out to them. 

How to find absentee owners 

Unlike typical real estate marketing methods, marketing to absentee owners is a fine art. 

You need to start by making an absentee owner list to target. Then, give these methods a try.

  • Cold calling: Cold call area numbers associated with rental properties or others confirmed with prior research. 
  • Tax records: A local tax assessor’s office will likely have a database of information you can access. This should include the contact information of property owners themselves, not just renters. 
  • Letters: An absentee owner letter can be addressed directly to the property owner with reasons as to why you’d be right to sell their home alongside why it benefits them
  • Research rental listings: You can often target rental listings as gold mines for finding leads. Try looking at areas known to have a large number of rental properties.
  • Neighborhood canvassing: Look out for homes that need some TLC. Is the grass overgrown? Is it obvious it has been some time since anyone has been looking after the home? These signs can point to a potential absentee owner.

How Virtuance can help you convert absentee owners

Want real estate pictures from a professional real estate photography company but don’t know where to start? Virtuance schedules shoots with one or more highly-trained real estate photographers to give your listing the pop they deserve and grab more attention with every photo.

Did we mention we’re the nation’s leading provider of real estate photography for the vacation rental industry? Now you do. 


Absentee owners could be looking for a way to downsize or reduce stress by selling a property where they do not primarily reside. It is also a great way to find clients not already targeted by other real estate agents in your area.

Reaching absentee owners requires some research beforehand, such as browsing tax records or rental listings. It’s important to be thorough in your search and not waste time cold calling or emailing without narrowing down a reliable client list.