MLS listings and/or Direct Marketing

6 Replies

Can you rely on MLS listings to find good investment deals or is it the case that any really great deal is going to be got before it ever gets listed?

I buy fix and flip in the southern California market and my company has been a member of the MLS for over 15 years. I would consider myself an expert when searching and navagating the MLS and in my last 18 month as a full time active investor the only properties I have gotten under contract on the MLS are short sales. All the other deals well over 200 of them, some homeowner or some cash buy and hold investor has paid a higher number for.

In my first years as an agent my biggest lesson was that real estate is all about marketing. Your success as an investor will be determined by your ability to market your ability as an investor. The MLS will be only used by you to get the highest price possible for other properties you own..... this is its only function.

Most real estate agents are agents not investors. A huge majority of them think the MLS is where you find deals....... if you are told that ask them how many they own. My guess is that in any office with 25 agents 4 or 5 may own an investmenthat property all the others are someone you shouldn't liston to. They just don't have enough experiance.

I know this because it was me for years.... read all you can. A good book is garry keller's book the millionaire real estate investor.  Good first start.

Thanks for the input…so basically if we find a property on the MLS and run the numbers and it seems like an okay deal, we're probably not actually getting the best deal?

Are there other resources that only certain people have access to?

Also, thanks for the book rec, will definitely check it out...

@Shannon Bae

Our experience in Ventura County is similar to Jim's. I don't think he's saying that you won't find properties that have the potential to be a deal, but rather that there is a lot of competition for them when they do get listed and that homeowners or buy and hold guys can pay more for them than a flipper should. We haven't looked at MLS properties in a few months, but every time we did, there were 5 or 6 other investors there looking to snatch them up. One of the local investors here only looks at MLS properties, writes up tons of offers, and then eventually gets one under contract.

Thanks for the clarification @Cornelius Charles that makes sense..I guess I'm trying to figure out how someone like me, not established etc could market effectively...before I ever thought about getting into REI I'd gotten direct mailings and seen signs around town and I always wondered who would call those numbers because they seemed shady to me...I wonder what you or @Jim Keller or anybody else have done that was successful...I've heard of some people literally knocking on doors but somehow I can't imagine doing I going to have to change my perspective??

We put up bandit signs, but since i was traveling in and out of town so much for our day job, we weren't able to do it consistenly.  From a couple of threads i have read, it doesn't seem like they are too effective in Southern California now-a-days.   We still have quite a bit left from our first order, so it is on our to-do list to continue to put them out.  We just started our direct mail campaign 4 or 5 weeks ago. I don't have our metrics in front of me, but i would guess our response rate is probably around 2% right now.  However, we have one property under contract from the mailings and a pretty hot lead called us yesterday. One thing i have read time and time again is that whatever you choose to do, do it consistently and for a long enough duration.  

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here