propertyfinder.com, one of the “big 4” property portals in the UK market, has just launched an iPhone version of its site. The new mobile version allows users to quickly and easily search through all the listings in the propertyfinder.com database from their phone. The new site can be found at m.propertyfinder.com.
The site seems to have been optimised to work on the iPhone. Like the trulia.com iPhone application launched earlier this year, it is well designed, easy to used, has smooth graphics and appears relatively fast.
propertyfinder.com appears to be one of the first portal sites in the UK to launch an iPhone optimised application for the UK market.
The question is, while mobile applications are sexy, are they likely to be used in an serious volume by people looking for property in the UK?
My view is that there isn’t really much of a market of mobile access to property portals in maturing markets. In these markets, consumer usage of devices is pretty much established and mobile phone are more likely to be used for accessing the internet for information that is time critical – e.g. where am i, is there a certain shop near me, is there are film on now i can see, is there a great night club nearby and so on …
I just don’t see that searching for property is that time critical. I think people take their time in buying or renting a home and therefore there is no real need for instant access.
The markets that are likely to work are the emerging markets where mobile access to the internet is often the only access that people have. Then there may be a need in these markets.