Bernie Sanders pops up in Auckland property listing

An Auckland real estate agent has taken a unique approach to marketing by overlaying a viral image of US politician Bernie Sanders, making him look like he's sitting in an Auckland home's living room.

The Democratic former presidential nominee was one of the most talked-about aspects of Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, for a particular photo showing off his beige on beige ensemble and hand-knitted mittens.

Sanders' look was so well-loved, an app has been created allowing him to travel the world by putting him anywhere on google street view. 

Now the image of Sanders has popped up on a property listing showing him sitting in the living room of a home for sale in the Auckland suburb of Hillcrest.

"Yes, all staging, including Bernie who's looking a tad ragged after a week in the same outfit, is virtual," the listing said.

"Along with a brand-new bathroom and near-new kitchen, even the concrete block wall adjoining the kitchen and lounge has been plastered (at considerable expense), but wow, what a fantastic feeling of overall warmth this brings to the living space. I think even Bernie's starting to warm up."

Bernie Sanders in the Hillcrest unit.
Bernie Sanders in the Hillcrest unit. Photo credit: Tim Webb - Agent Of Change

The property's agent Tim Webb from Agent of Change told Newshub he came up with the idea just 24 hours before the listing went live.

"There is no furniture in the property so I had some virtual staging done and I thought you know what, it'd be funny to pop Bernie in there somewhere."

He said he talked to the photographer who agreed it could be done and he asked his vendors if they were okay with it.

"I said 'I've got an idea. How would you feel about running with this?' and they said 'that's hilarious you can do that'. It's really cool to work with people who have a sense of humour."

Sanders can now be seen sitting in the living room of the property at 2/38 on Lynden Avenue and staring out the window.

Bernie Sanders pops up in Auckland property listing
Photo credit: Tim Webb - Agent Of Change

Bodo Lang, a senior marketing lecturer from the University of Auckland told Newshub: "it's clever marketing".

"It takes a keen eye and someone with a knowledge of pop culture to do something like that," he said.

The small two bedroom unit is likely to appeal to younger - first home buyers and Lang said it was smart as the Sanders' meme would likely resonate with many in that group.

He also commented that by using the image of Sanders, the property is able to stand out.

"I haven't seen anything like it before. The agent had a good connection to the media and could see what would resonate [with the audience]. If it was a property in the states, it would have gone crazy."

He said not only does the engaging image increase the listing's reach, but it also makes the property more likely to be sold and it could also help it fetch a higher purchase price.