A family huddles around the living room big screen, anticipates the next property and argues over whether to go with the Spanish villa or converted barn. This isn’t a House Hunters viewing party — it’s real life with the new Sotheby’s International Realty Apple TV app.

A family huddles around the living room big screen, anticipates the next property and argues over whether to go with the Spanish villa or converted barn.

This isn’t a House Hunters viewing party — it’s real life with the new Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) Apple TV app.

The app, available with 4th generation Apple TV devices only, gives consumers the chance to browse nearly 50,000 properties represented by the SIR brand worldwide, giving new meaning to the phrase “couch surfing.”

SIR joins a growing list of real estate industry companies with Apple TV apps, including Zillow, Trulia, Homesnap, Zumper and ZipRealty, but it appears to be the first real estate franchisor to make this move.

Users can search homes by city, state, country or lifestyle, either through entered text or Siri dictation, and immerse themselves in high-resolution photography and videography.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty Apple TV app allows the process of finding a home to become a collective, interactive experience,” said Christian Russo, the company’s director of interactive marketing, media and platforms, in a statement.

The app also gives browsers the ability to contact sales associates directly, share a property over email, save recent location searches and bookmark favorite properties. The Apple TV home screen’s “Top Row” also harbors users’ recent searches and favorited properties for easy access.

Apple TV, similar to the Roku, is a digital media player and streaming device that allows users to cherry-pick apps and attracts cable cord-cutters as an alternative source of shows, movies, music and the like.

When asked why Apple TV was right for SIR, Russo said, “When the tvOS platform was announced we immediately recognized that there was a great opportunity to create a fully customized and consumer-friendly Sotheby’s International Realty brand experience, which was our overarching goal.”

In the spirit of fun, the app also features a “Game Mode,” where players can view property photos and guess the home’s location.

“We have been keeping a close eye on the existing market for Apple TV apps and worked to ensure that the experience within the Sotheby’s International Realty Apple TV app was wholly unique, regardless of other apps vying for users attention,” Russo added.

This news comes off the heels of SIR’s integration of 3-D home tours on its listing pages.

Email Caroline Feeney

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