Since their inception in 1979, Hudson Management Company has collaborated with HOAs in the Bay Area to help their communities flourish. When Ann Hudson (the company’s namesake) founded the firm, the dynamics of community management were entirely different. HOAs were still in their infancy, and the regulations that now define the industry were far simpler. The years may have added layers of complexity, but a new generation of management mavens have readily taken on the challenge.
Bob and Leslie Mobraaten handed Hudson down to their son and daughter-in-law, Derek and Kaley, nearly five years ago. Derek’s parents proved to be skilled mentors, teaching them every aspect of the profession from the ground up. The pair brought millennial flare to the craft of community management, integrating new technology, like online portals, into the client experience. After half a decade with the company, Kaley describes how rewarding it is to see a community complete key projects and thrive, knowing that she and her husband lent a hand.
As this husband-and-wife duo can tell you, the needs of each community in their stable can differ drastically. Having worked with clients as small as 15 units and as large as 500, they understand that two communities can share similar demographics and amenities – and still have entirely different priorities. According to Kaley, this underscores the need to tailor their services to the desires of the board they’re working with. A cookie cutter approach, she says, simply won’t do.
Managing communities in the Bay Area brings a set of unique challenges. Californian communities are distinguished by the state’s ever-changing regulations. Hudson has to stay abreast to these changes, adapt to them, and most importantly, educate their clients accordingly. Board member education is easily one of the most critical obligations that Hudson fulfills. They effectively liaise between the community and the state. When the state releases new regulations, Hudson processes it, making the legal jargon digestible and easier for board members to implement.
So, by Hudson’s estimations, what makes a successful community? According to Kaley, harmony between board members is paramount to smooth operations. Board members don’t need to unanimously agree on every detail, but the community will fare better when they have a common vision. As a management company, Hudson can’t make decisions for the board – they can only provide resources, answer questions, help them mitigate risk and facilitate operations. Ultimately, the board captains the ship.
Secondarily, Kaley believes that healthy communication between the board and homeowners is a crowning feature of a successful HOA – whether it takes the form of newsletters, emails, board meetings or committees. For example, when an amenity is shut down, homeowners want to know why and when it will reopen. If dues increase, they naturally want to know where their money will be going. HOAs, in effect, behave like microcosms of government, with homeowners for constituents, and dues for taxes. Strong lines of communication are critical to ensure that homeowners are never left in the dark, and Hudson helps their board members see to that.
When it comes to two-way communication, one Arizona-based company, Page Per Page, has become an invaluable partner to Hudson. Page Per Page specializes in printing, mailing and technology solutions uniquely for HOAs. Processing mail in-house for the countless communities they manage is one of the most labor-intensive tasks on Hudson’s plate. After being referred to Page Per Page by Blair Fox, SVP of Alliance Association Bank, Hudson was able to put their clients’ mailing demands on autopilot. The result is an array of communities whose HOA mailings are delivered promptly, and whose homeowners are never uninformed.
The HOA landscape has evolved considerably over the 41 years that Hudson has been in operation. Homeowner expectations and technology evolve right alongside it, with no shortage of social and economic curve balls thrown in along the way. But with Derek and Kaley at the helm, Hudson will continue helping communities thrive for years to come.