Hawkeye Home Inspection

Hawkeye Home Inspection Owner Empowered Through Mentoring

By Nancy Saunders

Hawkeye Home Inspection is a new addition to the Thunder Bay home inspection market. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, owner and home inspector Caleb Hawkins left the city ten years ago and had been working in construction and building movie sets in Vancouver for the past five years. Once COVID-19 began to make a dramatic impact on the film industry, Hawkins and his wife returned to their hometown in June 2021 and Hawkins opened his business.

“I’m one of the newest home inspectors in Thunder Bay. It seems like a relatively new market—most of the home inspectors I know who are full-time players have only been around for the last five years. I think [the market] has changed quite a bit,” says Hawkins. Simply put, home inspectors let people know the condition of a home, and their services can be arranged by either the buyer or the seller. Hawkins notes that Thunder Bay’s hot real estate market has created a unique situation, and that the popularity and process of home inspections seems to be different here than in larger cities. “Thunder Bay is kind of its own little world. In bigger cities, it’s more popular to have a seller’s inspection done. If you want to sell your house, you bring in a home inspector and they make a list of the condition of the house, and when you sell your home, you say, ‘This is the price, this is what’s wrong with it.’ It takes out the negotiating; there’s nothing to negotiate because everyone is aware of the condition. In this hot market, nobody is doing that. People are going to take [a house] no matter what.” Hawkins emphasizes the benefit of hiring a knowledgeable home inspector in order to learn as much as possible about a property, even if the competitive market means there may be somewhat limited options for someone wanting to purchase a home.

Hawkins used the services of Digital TBay’s Digital Service Squad to make improvements to his company’s website and to learn new ways to promote his business. Hawkins met with squad member Dylan Uurainen and describes the sessions as helpful and worthwhile. “I had somebody build a website, then I got Dylan to help me change some things and fix it up. I’d paid for a basic website, and I wanted to be able to work on my own stuff—like if I just wanted to add a picture, I didn’t want to have to call somebody and pay them just to add a picture. [Dylan] taught me quite a bit about how to work on my own site, and stuff that I can learn to do for myself.”

Hawkins made updates that incorporated Uurainen’s expertise in digital media development and design and that resulted in a more aesthetically appealing and user-friendly website. “I met with Dylan at least twice; maybe three times. He was amazing! I asked him his opinion on a lot of stuff, and he would give me ideas based on what people are drawn to when they come to your website. He has a lot of knowledge about what catches peoples’ eyes on a website, what they like to see and how big things should be—stuff like that. He was very helpful,” says Hawkins.

The mentoring Hawkins received from the Digital TBay Digital Service Squad left him feeling empowered and capable in managing his website, and being hands-on and independent in an area that he was previously not familiar with. “Dylan is very knowledgeable, very easy to talk to and extremely helpful. He definitely took my webpage to another level and then on top of that, he showed me how I can maintain it myself so I don’t have to reach out to other people. He not only helped me achieve something better, and he also taught me how to do it for myself in the future.”