I have been buying my houses off the MLS, auction web sites, and other wholesalers. I wanted to receive some opinions if it is worth investing into marketing campaigns to find motivated sellers that are not listed on the MLS?
The local REI clubs I visit in my local area (st. louis) all seem to recommend some sort of marketing to find off MLS deals (Probates, Absentee owners, etc).
If you're making good $ buying from others, perhaps not.
The problem for many is that doesn't scale up to a larger business. To really ramp this up and do some volume, you probably need to go direct to the homeowner (marketing for non-listed properties).
Buying thru others means you are paying for that privilege; there is higher competition for deals on the MLS and auction sites, and wholesalers will take a part of your margin. That's the other consideration - can you go direct to the sellers and make more than you would working via intermediaries....
I have not bought 1 property this year from the MLS, and last year was 2. I focus 100% of our marketing budget on letters. I don't like competing with every other investor in Southern California or any where else for that matter. We would have been out of business if we relied solely on your method. Please don't get me wrong we are in 2 way different marketing areas, and if this strategy has been working I would say continue, but add some other resources to your arsenal.
I agree with @Bernie Germani Mailers and cold calling for off market listings is nearly the only way to get deals in SoCal now. In your market however I am sure it is different, but I would bet you will still find some amazing deals this way.
Keep doing what you are doing, but never settle, always being ahead of the pack!
It depends on what you want. The more you market yourself the more opportunity to get more deals.
Thanks comments, I really appreciate members on Bigger Pockets that provide helpful advice.