Reverse address lookup is a super useful tool for most businesses.
Having an address for a lead or business contact opens up a lot of possibilities for marketing and follow up conversations.
If you have addresses for your entire customer base, you can do even more advanced analytics and make your advertising more targeted.
So, knowing how to do a reverse address lookup is a good skill to have in your pocket. We’ll show you how to do it in this post.
But, before we get into the meat of doing reverse address lookups, let’s cover the basics.
What is Reverse Address Lookup?
Reverse address lookup is simply using a street address to find out the name and phone number of the person that lives or works there, or who owns the property at that address.
Doing a reverse address lookup will get different results based on what sort of address you’re reversing.
Reverse IP address lookup is available, but it’s a different service. We’ll focus on physical addresses here…
How Accurate is Reverse Address Lookup?
Reverse address lookups are generally more accurate for single family residences or detached houses. If the address is a large apartment building or an office building with a lot of offices, the information can be spotty.
The trouble with apartments and office buildings is that people often leave out part of the address when they fill out official documents or public records.
This information can include:
- The apartment number.
- A fraction if there are two apartments in the same unit.
- The office number or letter.
People sometimes do this out of convenience or because they don’t want to be found. Either way, these incomplete addresses make their way into marketing company databases or get used in organizational algorithms.
Whether you’re purchasing address lists, gathering them from customer registrations, scraping them from the internet, or using some other method of address collection, it’s critical that you verify the addresses are valid.
Even if you paid for the addresses, that doesn’t mean they’re correct or current.
You don’t want to waste time trying to find the name, phone number, or email address associated with a physical address that’s invalid. The most accurate and free way to validate addresses is to use the USPS Zip Code Lookup.
You can only lookup one address at a time using the USPS website. But it’s effective and it’s free. If you want bulk address validation, you may have to pay a bit for it.
Once you know that an address is valid, you can do a reverse address lookup to find more information about that address.
How to Do a Reverse Address Lookup
How you go about doing a reverse address lookup comes down to how much time and money you’re willing to invest in finding address information.
While it’s possible to do a successful reverse address lookup for free, it could take you a significant chunk of time.
So reversing addresses yourself may not be a viable option if you’ve got a lot of addresses to lookup.
But if a free reverse address lookup makes sense for you, here’s how to do it:
Check Search Engines
For private residences, the success rate using this method is rather low. But an internet search works quite well if the address belongs to a business. Businesses publicize their addresses so people can find them.
If the address appears to be a business, double check to verify the right business is listed. Sometimes, the first results aren’t the actual business at that address, as you can see in the image below.
Also, the information you find may be outdated or inaccurate. Be careful using information you find this way.
Search social networking sites
A standard internet search sometimes turns up information from social networks. But the best way to search the massive repository of information on social networks is by using the search function in the social networking apps themselves.
If someone has their address openly displayed on their Facebook or LinkedIn page, it should turn up when you search for that address.
Also check the less popular networking sites like MySpace. Although MySpace is mostly a ghost town now, there may be some address information left on an abandoned MySpace page.
Searching review sites like Yelp and Google reviews is a good way to find out if the address your reversing belongs to a business. Most businesses have their address listed on these pages so they can get reviews.
Remember, that just like information from search engines, anything you find on social networks may be old or incorrect information. Be cautious with this data as well.
Use a free online address lookup
Free online address lookup tools tend to be more reliable than internet searches in terms of finding some information. However, free online address lookups can’t guarantee the accuracy of the information they find.
Free address search tools rely mostly on information from the white pages and yellow pages. This information is publicly available. Most of it is used by police departments or published in libraries. That’s why information from these sources isn’t reliably found using a simple Google search.
Note: the white pages and yellow pages are public information for free use. Never pay for an online address search that relies only on these sources.
You’re less likely to come away from a free address lookup empty handed. But it’s probably unwise to hire a process service or pay to have something delivered to an address you found using a free address lookup tool.
Use a premium records search
If the free reverse address lookup methods don’t work for you, it may be time to invest a few dollars into your search.
A premium records search scours unpublished records like court proceeding records and marriage applications for information. All this information is publicly available but usually doesn’t show up in an internet search or free reverse address lookup.
Premium records searches are a good way to find names, phone numbers, email addresses, and aliases connected with an address. Premium records searches are also relatively inexpensive. But the information may not be 100% accurate.
You can also do bulk premium records searches, also called batch appends, if you have a list of addresses to check.
You can simply upload a TXT, CSV, or Excel file with the addresses you need information for. Good services allow you to choose the information you need to gather.
It’s not entirely free. But a premium records search is a good compromise if you need to find decent information without investing a lot of time and money. Batch append services are usually reliable enough for businesses to use with purchased lists of leads or for completing customer profiles.
Note: some companies offer inexpensive non-recurring people search memberships. However, be wary of any people search company that wants you to sign up for a monthly subscription without knowing if they actually found the information you’re looking for.
A good reverse address lookup provider also won’t charge you if they don’t find any information.
Hire a professional
This is the best option if you:
- Need the most accurate information possible.
- Are willing to pay for it.
Hiring a private investigator is best when you need well-verified information. It’s also the most expensive and takes the longest.
To find information, a private investigator will usually do what’s called a utility search or a utility billing contact information search. The best way to get information about an address is to find out who pays the utility bills at that address.
This might point to a landlord. However, private investigators can often get tenant information with a bit more investigative work.
Finding information this way is usually very reliable. But beware of any private investigator who doesn’t offer at least a partial refund if they fail to find information for you.
All the same principles apply to doing a reverse address lookup for a PO box or a private or personal mailbox (PMB, like a UPS store box). You can try to find the information inexpensively or for free. But if you absolutely need verified information about the real address, it’s best to pay for an assisted search.
And one last thing…
Is a Reverse Address Lookup Legal?
In short, yes, using an address to find information is legal.
However, there may be protections for the way you use that information, depending on your business.
Protections provided by the government are fairly minimal in the United States. But there may be limitations or restrictions for using personal information in the terms of service for some businesses, such as Amazon sellers.
It may be perfectly legal to get information using a reverse address lookup. But check to be sure that you’re not breaking any rules when you use the information you find.
So, that’s it. If you’re trying to find information based on an address, these are your options.
The reverse address lookup method you use depends on how vital it is that you get accurate information. Searching the web or playing with free online address lookup tools can be entertaining. And a premium records search is accurate enough for many commercial business uses.
When you really need dependable information, though, you’ll probably have to invest in some professional services.
Reverse phone lookup is a handy tool for any business. It’s useful if your business misses a call and you’d like to know who you’re following up with.
Or if a customer gives you incomplete information.
Or if finding people based on tidbits of personal information is your business, reverse phone lookup is for you.
Whatever the case, having more information about customers is better. Not only that, but reverse phone lookup can help customers find your business. So the benefits go both ways.
Here’s everything you need to know about using reverse phone lookup:
How Reverse Phone Lookup Works
Reverse phone lookup for landlines is fairly simple.
Landline phone numbers that are or were attached to the PSTN (public switched telephone network) are listed in phone books published by phone companies.
Paper phone directories have been transferred to computers. All the information is available online now. Any phone number that was listed in the phone book can be found using a simple internet search.
An internet search is especially effective for businesses. Businesses want to be found, so if you do a reverse phone lookup for a business landline phone number, you’ll almost always get at least the business name and address.
The exceptions are:
- Unlisted phone numbers.
- Fax numbers.
- Cell phone numbers.
- VoIP phone numbers.
These numbers are either intentionally left out of phone listings, or they aren’t connected to the PSTN. In either case, phone companies usually don’t collect or publish information associated with these numbers.
This means that there’s no central database for fax, cell phone, and VoIP numbers. The data is spread out among different people and entities. So, information for these types of numbers can be trickier to find.
Searching the web for a number that’s not in the directory may still turn up some results if the owner of the phone number has listed their number in places like Facebook or has attached their cell phone number to a business listing. But a basic Google search isn’t very effective for doing reverse cell phone number lookups.
However, there are services that track down cell phone and other unlisted numbers if you really need to find one.
Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal?
Short answer: yes, reverse phone lookup is legal.
There’s no law against finding or accessing information using a reverse phone lookup, or for what types of phones you can use reverse phone lookup for.
Long answer: yes, but be careful. It’s legal to get information using a reverse phone lookup. However, if you’re a business, there could be rules for how you use that information.
For example, the Amazon Terms of Service for Amazon sellers have specific guidelines for what you can and cannot do with customers’ personal information. Violating the Amazon seller TOS can get you booted from selling on Amazon forever.
Also, even though it may not be technically illegal, using someone’s address or email address without permission can irritate people or make your business seem scammy.
There’s one last thing. US privacy laws may get some overhaul in the wake of the GDPR implementation, so using the information you get with a reverse phone lookup could be even more restricted in the future.
You won’t break any laws just by getting information with a reverse phone lookup. But what you do with that information could get you in hot water.
Brush up on laws that apply to your industry before you start using any information you find.
How to Do a Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
As I said earlier, reverse phone lookups for unlisted or cell phone numbers can be spotty.
Google’s Phonebook Operator used to be capable of performing reverse cell phone lookups.
However, Google received so many requests to have numbers removed from their index that they shut down the Phonebook Operator in 2010, making it much more challenging to do a reverse cell phone lookup today.
Here are some tips to prepare you for doing a reverse phone lookup:
- It can take a lot of time. Since there’s no unified database for cell phone numbers, you’ll have to dig around quite a bit. If you’ve got a lot of phone numbers to lookup, you could be investing a significant chunk of time in searching.
- The information you find may not be accurate. You won’t be able to verify the information yourself. Depending on how and where you find the data, you may be able to reasonably presume that it’s valid. But it’s likely you’ll just have to go with whatever you find.
- There’s a good chance that you won’t find the information you’re looking for. People are getting smarter about their information. So, there’s less information sitting out where you can easily find it.
Now that you know what you’re getting into, here are the best ways to do a reverse cell phone lookup:
Check Search Engines.
Although it’s rare that searching Google turns up conclusive results, it’s still possible. The best case scenario is that the phone number you’re checking will have an attached business.
You’ll easily find business information attached to phone numbers.
Usually, you’ll get a mishmash of results.
If the phone number search turns up a Facebook page, it’s your lucky day.
Now, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you’ve got the person who actually owns that phone number. The original owner could have gotten a new phone number and never updated it on their Facebook page. But social media matches are some of the most reliable ones you can get with an internet search.
If you have additional information about the person, like a username or even a zip code, adding that to your reverse cell phone lookup could help turn up better results.
Also, toss the phone number in some other search engines like Yahoo! and Bing. Every search engine has its own search algorithm and web spiders. This means it’s possible that one of the other search engines will churn up something that Google didn’t.
If you’ve still got nothing, don’t give up yet. There are other options.
Check Social Networks
Although Google can turn up some information from social networks, using the search engine in the social networking apps themselves is better for scraping information.
Searching niche social networking sites and old ones like MySpace is also a good thing to try. Defunct social networks usually don’t turn up in Google searches because the sites gets so little traffic (RIP MySpace). But there are still a lot of old profiles sitting around in there that people have forgotten. They might still have some information on their page.
This method is especially effective if you have something like a username to add to your search criteria.
At this point, if you’ve still come up empty handed, there’s one more place to look.
Use a People Search Tool
However, it’s important to note that most free people searches don’t have access to more information than you do. They just have search technology specifically designed for finding personal information.
This also means that free people finders can’t guarantee that the information they find is valid. So, the reverse cell phone lookup may return information. But it’s unverified.
If you’ve still got nothing, it may be time to turn to professional services.
How to Get Verified Information Using Reverse Phone Lookup
While the free reverse phone lookup methods work sometimes, the trouble is that it’s nearly impossible to verify the information you find without some help.
There are services that provide reverse phone lookups and deliver verified information.
These services scour the white and yellow pages. They also check information sources that free services usually don’t. These sources include:
- Public records (court records, marriage records, death records, voting rolls).
- Specialized databases.
- Caller ID records.
Using multiple sources means that these services can cross reference data and ensure that you’re getting the correct information.
Most of the time, you can get information from the yellow and white pages for free.
However, if you need information from the more confidential sources or the phone number isn’t available in the white and yellow pages, you may need to pay to have these sources searched.
But these searches are fast and often inexpensive.
If you’re using reverse phone lookups for your business, these services are usually the best option. If you get incorrect information from a free search, it could damage your company reputation and hurt your bottom line.
Reverse phone lookup services are also ideal for businesses that need to get information for a lot of phone numbers. Doing your own searches for even a dozen phone numbers could take hours. Using a batch append service is the most efficient way to get information for large volumes of phone numbers.
So, if you’ve got just a few phone numbers to work on, give the free methods a try. Who knows? You might get some hits.
But if you’ve got a whole phone list worth of phone numbers to lookup, it may be time to find yourself a good reverse phone lookup service. You’ll be glad you did!
Leave a comment and let us know which search method worked best for you, or check out our reverse phone lookup tool to lookup phone numbers now.
Are you looking for information about your 20-year high school reunion?
What about financial information about a company you want to do business with?
Do you want to know who lived in the house you’re about to buy?
Never before has it been so easy and so accessible as it is now to get information on just about anything you can imagine. You can just type your search query into your favorite online search engine and within seconds, you’ll get pages and pages returned to you that is chock full of information.
Find Anyone Online & Anything Online Via Searches
Online searching is not at all hard to do or difficult to get into. We’ll not only show you how to find anyone online, but anything.
Online searches can be limiting in some aspects, especially when you’re directed only to a company or business’ landing page. Those landing pages sometimes only have general information like contact information or a short blurb about the company’s objective or mission. In some situations, you want or need more information than what is on the main page, and for that, you’ll need to launch a more detailed, comprehensive search.
Companies that specialize in gathering detailed company information collect that information from a variety of sources, which can include private and/or public sources. There is not one main source that is used, but sometimes there are collections of sources investigated that help to compile the information. For instance:
- Public records and information may be obtained from courthouse records, deeds and/or property records. From such sources, individuals can glean information about previous private property owners or property purchases.
- Archived educational records can be obtained from the school source or from database management software. This is what a lot of businesses and individuals use to plan school reunions or find classmates.
Sometimes, all that’s needed to locate information is a small tidbit of information about the source. To locate particular information about a source so as to get more information, it’s helpful to have handy as much information as possible. For instance:
- For information about a company’s Board of Directors or a particular board member, you’ll need to have the company’s name, or perhaps the year(s) that you think the executive served with the company.
- Interested in opening your own franchise? Check the information online about the company’s locations to see if they have a franchise in your state or area, or perhaps would be willing to start one.
- What is the average home selling price for the houses on your cul-de-sac? Online searches will return information that gives you the average purchase price, home and property appreciation statistics or the average selling prices for the homes in the last 5 years.
- Even if you’re interested in genealogy and tracing your family’s history, you can use online sources to locate information about your family’s name and heritage. Or, you can even find long lost family members or extended family that you may not have even known about!
- Although it’s hard to imagine, there ARE people who have money that they don’t know about. Online searches by state or last name can return information about uncashed checks, money inheritances, 401k or retirement money that’s unclaimed.
In general, the more information that you can supply, the better the returned searches will be. However, even if you only have limited information, you can still get good, quality information from reliable sources.
Also, remember to always use a trusted and reliable source to get good search information. While many would argue that information is free, it takes money and expenses to compile good information, and that is what individuals are paying for. It takes time to scour public records, to key in database information and also to write the software that culls in this same information.
This information is not something that an average person can generally get on their own, so search companies are the ideal resource to use. Besides, most reputable companies will offer you a trial subscription to test their services before you make a full, long-term commitment. This works out ideally for the search company and the user. Go ahead, try to find anyone online, or anything.
Just about everyone who has done it before can attest to how well it works. That is, sharing with others the things that you’ve found on the internet. It’s called sharing or “liking” in some places, but whichever thing it’s called by whatever group of people, the main idea that drives the concept is the fact that it’s social.
What does it mean to be social?
Being social is not limited in nature to smiling and exchanging small chit-chat at parties. That only applies to offline situations where that is the goal. But in terms of internet sharing and social situations, sharing involves anything where a person or groups of people are sharing information amongst each other that they’ve found online. That sharing can include a cool, new website that sells the latest cameras all the way to a social site where users can find out where the next campus frat party is going to be.
Social sharing is also done through search engines, which make it an unbelievably popular concept that seems to grow more each day. Search engine sharing simply means where users share search engines or search information within their circle of influence or gathering of people. This concept is especially big too with famous internet people or those individuals on the internet who may be well known. In other words, if popular person “A” recommends a site to his readers, it’s highly likely that the site will escalate in traffic from the surge of people who are going there to check out what the popular person suggests.
Social searches is also a method simply where readers are sharing amongst themselves different sites that they like, they hate, they’re offended by or ones that they want to use to make a profit. Search engine sharing can be a link, a website or a collection of either that’s shared with the users.
There are also some search sites that will take a compilation of user recommended searches and construct a database so that users can find all of the information that they need all in one tidy location. These are called search directories or web directories in some cases. But the premise that drives the idea is that most all of the information contained within the search directory is information that is derived from input from social results. However, in order for the information or results to be of any value, it has to be accurate, with the information having been verified first.
The fact that social searches work so well is generally because the users who either enter the information or those who use the information are doing so with genuine intents. Therefore, this makes the content and data ‘cleaner’ in terms of validity. If there are no other agendas attached to the information compilation, it’s more likely that the sources from which the information originated is more interested in sharing the information for the sake of sharing, rather than what they are going to get from having entered or for suggesting the data.
As the vast internet continues to grow and strengthen, the power of social searches and sharing is going to become even bigger. There are more sites being launched daily and weekly. There are also social networks that are increasing in numbers and growing quickly while attracting more users to their sites. In order for businesses and individuals to get the maximum usage from social searches, it’s a great idea to become a part of it by immersing in it and interacting with the social community. This not only establishes a trust, but it also establishes a long-term business and social relationship that’s sure to last for a long time.