Today we’d like to introduce you to Ralph Borgess.
Hi Ralph, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I began my career in construction as a Union Carpenter in New Jersey. I completed a four-year apprenticeship and trade school and eventually became a Foreman working on commercial construction projects. I also studied construction safety management and am a certified OSHA instructor and Consultant for a General Contractor.
It was after I bought my first home in 2010 that I decided I wanted to be a home inspector. I had my home inspection and as I followed the inspector through my house, I knew it was something I had to do. I immediately enrolled in Home Inspection School and competed the 140hrs and externship required to obtain my license in NJ. After completing school and passing the National Exam, I formed Borgess Home Inspections and began conducting inspections almost immediately. We relocated to Maryland in late 2018 for a business opportunity, and after getting settled, I completed and additional 72hrs of Maryland State Home Inspection Training and obtained my license. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a slow start due to COVID, but Hawkeye Home Inspections has seen tremendous growth in its first year of business in Maryland.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Like every business and family, we had some struggles along the way. Our home in NJ was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, and we had to move out for six months while it was being rebuilt. At the time, we had a two-year-old and my wife was six months pregnant. After moving back into the home for a couple years, we were required to elevate our home 9 feet for insurance purposes and had to move out again for another six months, this time with our three children.
During this time, a lot of homes in the area were rebuilding and we worked closely with non-profit groups to help rebuild areas hit by Sandy. This obviously took a huge toll on the inspection business, and we decided it would be best for our family to pursue other business opportunities in Maryland. We relocated to the area in late 2018 and have been building our business ever since; although, like everyone COVID caused some setbacks, but we’re back at it.
As you know, we’re big fans of Hawkeye Home Inspections. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are a home inspection company that services the real estate industry. Our primary client base is new home buyers, but we also do a significant amount of consulting and construction management. I’ve been in the construction business for most of my life and completed a 4-year apprenticeship with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters along with Trade school and am a certified construction safety trainer. This technical background is a tremendous asset when inspecting properties. What sets us apart from other businesses is how we investigate problems to determine the root cause and communicate these findings to our clients. We go above and behind to not only point out what’s wrong but also provide valuable maintenance tips.
One of the things we’ve been doing a lot of in this market is conducting walkthrough/pre-offer consultations. Clients and Agents have been hiring us to walk through a home with them prior to putting in an offer so we can point out any potential red flags, this way, they can remove the inspection contingency from their offer to make it more competitive. I think this is a great system but still, recommend a full inspection for knowledge and educational purposes.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I have four amazing children and when I’m not working, I’m in full Dad mode. My family is my whole world and my goal is to create a sustainable business that I can one day pass on to them. I am extremely passionate about my business and truly believe in building relationships and supporting other businesses in our community. We do our best to be as proactive in community events as possible and try and give back whatever we can. Growing up as the only child to a single mother that worked three jobs to support us, I learned an amazing work ethic from her that I hope to pass along to my children along with a successful company. Our goal in 2022 is to begin rehabbing houses and get more involved in General Contracting.
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