Single people searches are the heart of skip tracing. We call them single searches because, unlike a batch skip trace, they are searches you do one at a time. To use them, you manually enter the search inputs, such as a name and an address or a property address. There are two categories of single searches, people-focused and asset focused.

Single People Searches

People-focused searches, such as people search, reverse address search, or reverse number search start with different search inputs, but they all return information about a person. In BellesLink, a people search result includes phone numbers, an address history, emails, associates, relatives, property records, and business records.

Single Asset Searches

Asset-focused searches, such as property, business, and debt profile, are often a starting point to search a person. You can look up a property by address and find the owners of that property, or look up a business to find the registered agent, then move to a people search to find their contact information.

Batch People Search vs. Single People Search

Often we’re asked what’s the difference between a batch search and a people search.

A batch search tries to give you a single best result for a name and address combination. If the database can’t find a single best result, it won’t return any result at all.

By contrast, a single people search tries to give you the best, or near-best, result. If the database can’t find a single best result, it will return up to 10 near-best results. To determine which one is the person that you’re looking for, scan all the results.


People search overview tutorial

People Search Overview

Watch the people search overview video to learn how to use people searches, like reverse phone number and reverse address, to get accurate contact information.


Search Inputs Can Vary

Single searches can use different types of inputs. Input types range from a very narrow search, such as a social security number, to a broader search such as a phone number or email.

A name and address combination is the most common search input. It is narrow enough to return a single best result, but broad enough to return a near-best result, at least.

An address can be historically connected to a name, such as a house I rented during college. In a batch search, my name and old college address would not return a result, but in a single people search, it would.

The ability to return a result by searching on current and historical information is a valuable feature of single searches. If you know the information you have to search on is historical, using a single search will give you better results.

Remember, the narrower the search input, the more likely you’ll get a single-best search result. Always search with the narrowest information you have.

Single Search Results Are Deeper

In both people searches and asset searches, you get back rich, deep search results. For instance, a single people search result is 5-10 times deeper than a batch search result.

People search results include:

  1. Names and alias
  2. Date of birth and deceased flag
  3. Mobile phone numbers
  4. Landline phone numbers
  5. Address history with associated phone numbers
  6. Email addresses
  7. Possible Relatives
  8. Possible Associates
  9. Properties records
  10. Businesses records

By contrast, a batch search result only returns phone numbers, emails, and a most current address, in a single best result. That is dramatically less than a single people search.

Ranked and Dated Information

In BellesLink search results, addresses and phone numbers are ranked and dated information. They are listed in the most current to the least current order, with a date range for when that phone number or address was associated with the person. Ranked information tells you which number to call first and which address to use.

When Do You Use Single Searches?

Typically the goal of a skip tracing search is to get in contact with someone. With that in mind, here are two common situations when using a single search, instead of a batch search. is best.

When You Don’t Have a Name and Address
If you are starting with a property address, business name, or phone number, you will need to use a single search in order to find and contact the person.

When The Person is Deceased
If you are searching for someone who is deceased, you will need to use a single people search in order to find the appropriate relative to contact. While the decedent’s phone number may come back in a batch search, they certainly won’t be answering when you call.

There are other situations that come up during investigations and asset collections that require more traditional single search skip tracing.

Try a Single Search Before Giving Up

If you’ve used a batch search but didn’t get a result, don’t give up. Try searching the same information with a single search, and you are likely to get a near-best result that can lead you to the person you want to reach. Sometimes it takes more than a click of a button, and we have to play Sherlock Holmes to find what we’re looking for. That’s the fun of single people searches.

If you aren’t already a Belleslink customer, take a look at our free Basic Plan. It’s a great way to get started using single searches for skip tracing.

If you have any questions about single searches, skip tracing, or the BellesLink platform, contact us by phone or email.