Think out of the box, think 203k loans
You can create inventory when your MLS says there is none. How? Simply find a home in the right neighborhood that is close in most respects then make a list of the changes that are needed to make it their dream home. That list becomes the scope of work or at least the beginning of the scope of work. Once that work is completed this home will meet their every need and desire.
You say, they just need a swimming pool, then use the HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage and install a swimming pool, nice patio with fancy BBQ all the items that FHA doesn't allow.
If you contact your consultant they should be able to walk you through the possibilities. The key is to think out of the box. Don't be restrained by the typically accepted rules. The MLS is only one place to find homes. The REIA is also a way to find homes for sale. This link was found by searching "REIA California" but if you ut any state or large town you will find them. What are they? A goldmine for homes ready for renovation or already fixed up. A treasure trove of homes. But you need to know what to look for.
It will likely cost you about $35 to join a meeting. Don't act like a novice when you get there. Pay your fee and step into the room. Typically you will find a poster board with photos of homes that have just been fixed up and are ready for sale.
Pay attention as they will call the meeting to order and at some point they will have a parade of members and guests each one talking about the properties they have for sale. If you are a loan officer get in that line and explain what you do once you are up there, if you are a Realtor then do the same thing and offer to help them sell those homes pictured on the poster board.
When I go there the first thing I do before the meeting starts is to ask if there are any "wholesales" in the room. I gather their cards then enjoy the meeting. Never to I talk to them at that meeting. I might ask what would be the best time to contact them and then follow that up with a call once they are back at their office.
What are you looking for? You could be looking for a fixer for a client, maybe a finished home ready to move it, they have them.
I was visiting a lender once when they told me they had 105 qualified buyers and no houses to for them. They said the MLS had a shortage of inventory. I called a Realtor I knew in the area and they confirmed there was a shortage of inventory.
I had just driven around town and saw lots of boarded up homes. That is called "inventory" it just isn't on the MLS. I then called a friend of mine in that area that was a wholesaler, He lived in this area and while the phone was on the speaker shared with us that he had 125 homes for sale in that city. Some of the deals he quoted were beyond my imagination as well as the lender's. We couldn't believe some of those deals. Now not all "wholesalers" are alike, I know of one that only sells properties he doesn't keep for himself. I wouldn't recommend doing business with someone who filters the properties they sell and keep the best for themselves. There are too many good ones out there.