With that caveat in place it was actually a fun half hour running through the new Findaproperty app for ipads and comparing it with the French equivalent.
My comparison is with the SeLoger app that is used this side of the channel (download here). The best word to describe the SeLoger pages is "ugly". The site does all the basics (including GPS position to search by your current location), it's fast enough to load but it's pretty clunky to use and everything seems to be a struggle.
To be fair it is also drawing on much more basic information than you get in the UK. Agents here take lousy photographs and the thought of putting a floor plan on their details is probably still 2-3 years away!
In contrast the Findaproperty app (download here) was pretty slick and a pleasure to use. The "kid" in me liked the fruit machine effect when you put your price parameters in and the pinchable (is there such a word?) map feature worked quickly and smoothly.
I didn't even try to use the GPS positioning (not sure how many houses they have for sale in Cognac) but I honed in on my old road in Walton on Thames within seconds of opening the app and it was simple to look at all the houses on the market, download photos and floor plans and save to favourites. Setting up my personalised search criteria was a breeze and the whole site was quick to load.
The size & quality of pictures was far, far better than on the French equivalent and whilst this probably has little to do with back end IT capabilities it is surely the most important issue when househunting and Findaproperty have got it right.
It's going to be interesting to see how the mobile revolution continues to shape the way that househunters look for property. What's clear from this exercise is that this isn't going to be a "French Revolution" and that it's going to be the UK portals and agents leading the way.