David Wallensky hails from the heart of Toronto, in Canada. You know he’s from the middle of the city because he drops the last ‘T’, and pronounces it ‘Torawno’. Besides being a high-performing account manager for Console, Dave is the office’s resident comedian and storyteller.
We caught up with him to find out a little about the man behind the Wallensky Report, and what he’s doing to drive a culture of exceptional customer service at Console.
What was your first job?
Sadly, Dave’s father passed away when he was young. And with seven sisters to provide for, he decided he was going to get a job and make some money for the family. The only problem of course was that he was a ten year-old at the time—significantly below the minimum working age.
The solution? He used his older sister’s birthday and social insurance number. And for the next two years, his name was Adrian (his sister’s name), and he worked as a grocery store bagger at Sunkist Food Markets. ‘They didn’t suspect a thing until my older sister actually turned up at the same market and applied for a job there. When she became an employee, they realised we had the same social security number, same birthday, same name and so on. That’s when it all came to a head. Still though, that was my first job, and I loved it.’
You’re an account manager for Console. What does an account manager do, and why is it so important?
‘An account manager is responsible for being a point of contact for our clients,’ Dave says. He stresses that it’s not just about putting a human face or voice on the company for our customers. It’s actually more about being the ears of Console. It’s about making sure our customers are being heard—that their voices are represented inside the company.
‘At the end of the day, what it comes down to is people. Real people use this software. I’m trying to remind everyone that there are human beings involved in both sides of this, on the customer and the company side.’
Which is why you started writing the Wallensky Report. Can you tell us a bit more about what it is and how it has changed the culture at Console HQ?
‘Historically, we have been heavy in developer talent, but not customer-voice heavy’, Dave reflects. ‘That’s why when I started going out and visiting people, I would record how that conversation went. If a client wants to see something developed in the software, I would report on it. ‘If they loved or, God forbid, really didn’t love something we did, I would make sure that was in my report too.’
Increasingly, David Wallensky’s reports were circulated to more and more people in the organisation. It didn’t take long for other account managers to follow suit. Now, people who have virtually no client contact are really hearing what our customers are saying.
The result has been a shift in how Console thinks about its products and the people who use them. ‘Piece by piece, we’re changing how we think here in the company,’ he says. Although our client-facing staff have always been about delivering exceptional customer service, Dave’s work has helped it become a company-wide philosophy.
What do you like best about working at Console?
‘I am never the smartest person in the room here.’ When asked what he means by this, Dave explains his belief that growth comes from being around high-performing people. ‘In other words, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you should get out of that room. We only get better by working with people who can teach us things.’
Dave believes that Console’s strengths lie in its intelligent employees. ‘And the best bit is we all need each other to achieve anything of greatness. We get the opportunity to grow and learn from each other.’
What would you change about property management if you could?
‘Can we stop calling them property managers and start calling them asset managers?’ Dave explains that good property managers have a value that far exceeds the things we associate with managing properties, like organising contracts and inspections.
‘A talented property manager builds your business through high-quality asset management,’ he explains, 'not just organising maintenance. So let’s call these people something that reflects the real value of what they do.’