Where's the beef? How I find my deals.
Driving for dollars is the best way to find deals in an area you want. I say that in that most deals that go online via any list are going to be purchased by some investor for top dollar- As it should be. But, when you go directly to the source you get rid of all the middle grabbers and get to be in more control. Now I have done mailers (10k send 3x over 3 months to the same addresses) and got decent results. But it was a lot of wasted time and energy on people who wanted to sell me deals I didn't want to buy. You still have to be kind, or they will trash your reputation online. So, that brings me back to driving for dollars. Its not a big net method, its a fishing pole with the bait to grab the prey you are looking for.
Anyway- I find 90% of my deals via driving around or someone I know (friend/family) telling me about a property they saw or someone they know "bout to sell that". Networking is important, but I spend 99% of my time networking with non-investors in the markets I want to do business. I don't see much gain in hanging out with people looking to buy the exact thing I am looking to buy. Although, its good to know what your competition is up to and to get an idea of what "investors" are doing in the current market. You'd be amazed how many people your barber will send your way over any local wholesaler. (again, nothing against wholesalers but I just prefer to do business with people who let me be the expert and are just looking to be fair for all parties i.e. 65% of real ARV minus real repair cost.)