I’ve written before of the extraordinary practice, unique to New Zealand, of commercial property agents reinventing the language. Rental “Areas” became “footprints”, plain everyday industrial buildings are described as hard-working, and so it goes.

The latest such nonsense came in the recent Herald and Dominion-Post commercial property supplements, in an article purportedly written by a bloke calling himself Chris Farhi.

I’m pretty sure that’s a North African Arabic name and if there’s one characteristic my life-long experience with Arabs has shown is they match the Brits when it comes to delight in taking the piss. For Farhi’s short 100 or so words article about the demand for small office suites, not once, but an extraordinary four times, referred to them as turn-key suites. What do you suppose that means? Farhi didn’t explain.

I own nearly 1000 small prime location CBD office suites in various cities, none accessed by keys, aside from which the word turn-key, with or without the hyphen, has a meaning totally unrelated to property.

Then came my Eureka moment when first I read Farhi’s job description which was classic Arab mickey-taking.

This was (brace yourself, I’m not making this up) “Bayleys Head of Insights, Data and Consulting”. Then to put a cap on things a photo was included of the plainly fictitious Farhi. It clearly revealed a trans woman trying to pass herself off as a bloke, and failing badly.

I suspect the author of this effort was none other than the company’s boss Mike Bayley, who’s not averse to a laugh. These are dark days, so well done Mike in providing some much-needed levity to brighten our lives.


Farhi (Urdu language) can indeed mean gay. Micky has other connotations as well

When they start using euphemisms and bizarre terminology in order to sell or lease a property you need to wonder “what’s wrong with it?”; why isn’t it so self evidently a good investment or leasing option?

Any one noticed that the simple, useful word “area” is under attack from Corporate Types and Public Servants?
Yes Sir Bob, “foot print” has replaced land area but also “space” has replaced area. No one works in a particular area anymore. They’re all working “in that space”
I’d like to send Corp-speak in to space.

Piss-taking should have become one of Britain’s greatest exports.

It’s already viewed as a quality product and having lived here for 35 years, I can vouch for that. All it needs is an expert advocate and marketeer.

Are you in it, Mike? A dual-purpose office in Glasgow to launch the company’s real estate service in Britain and the piss-taking service in Europe and the Middle East? You’d be on a winner, particularly if you were able to recruit Farhi for ‘front of house’.

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