Big Brother Is Watching. Better Get Used To It!

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

Bottom line!  While you are on site at any property your clients might want to buy, DON'T LET THEM TALK ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU ARE BACK IN YOUR CAR WHERE (PRESUMABLY) THE SELLERS CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Hate to admit it, but I am old enough to remember when George Orwell's 1984 first came out, although at the time I was too young to understand it.  But years later, when I read it in college, I found the idea of being constantly watched a little scary - and very unlikely.

Today, there are surveillance cameras everywhere.  They are in stores to find shoplifters.  They are in apartment buildings to check comings and goings.  And now there are sellers looking at us when we show their houses.

Big Brother was supposed to be the government, and to some extent, it is the government keeping tabs on us.  There are speed cameras to catch speeders and red light scofflaws.  There are cameras in many public places to make sure that we don't pickpocket or do other really bad stuff. 

But mostly, Big Brother is us!  We have nanny cams to watch what's going on with our children's caretakers.  I'd love to have a Willie the Labradoodle cam to what the dang dog is doing while I'm out showing houses.  (Where is that kid I forgot to have who would be old enough to install one for me?) 

The expectation of privacy used to be the rule.  But it occurs to me that today, it really doesn't exist.  And there are a lot of us who don't remember that it was considered sort of, well, sacred. 

So from now on, I'm going to assume that every seller has a buyer broker cam focused right on me to make sure that I don't pick my nose or raid the undies drawer, to ensure that I wash my hands if I borrow the powder room, or to hear what advice I may be giving my clients if they want to make an offer on the place. 

When I posted this last night, I guess I buried the lead!

If you are planning a move to or from the Washington area, I can help.  I am licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia.   Please email me at or call 202-549-5167. 

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Comments (23)

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

This is so true.  I just recently reread 1984 and it really does apply to how life is today.... not just the cameras everywhere, but the way the government tries to manipulate our minds with propaganda.  Don't look over your shoulder, someone IS watching you.

Mar 05, 2013 10:28 AM
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

They are everywhere for sure but since I have no desire to steal someones underwear, or anything else for that matter, I do not worry about them. Refuse to be paranoid about anything. LOL


Mar 05, 2013 10:40 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Everyone with a smart phone has a camera and there is very little privacy.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 05, 2013 10:40 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!
Pat, you are so right. Even poor Rocky couldn't get away with a little free time today at camp bow wow without me logging on to the live web cam from time to time to see if he was doing ok. You never know who's keeping an eye on you. And the new model homes have cameras in them these days too.
Mar 05, 2013 10:43 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

George Orwell was a true Prophet.   He saw our time.  

    The Government is first on the list, but what about the Spyware and Tracking Cookies that are on 90% of all Personal Computers?   And those eavesdropping "Security Cams" that you mention.  

   Be careful!

Mar 05, 2013 11:01 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Those speed cameras and traffic light cameras are constant reminders of being closely watched.

Thanks for welcoming back Johnice Comer.  I suggest that you get to know Johnice.  If you sell in Kentlands and Lakelands, you will be showing some of her listings.  Johnice could use some advice on the effective use of ActiveRain.

Mar 05, 2013 11:10 AM
Kim Logan
Kim Logan - Keller Williams Lake Oconee Realty

I often wonder when showing property if there are cameras set up!!  Just to see what people really say when looking at property.  I am sure some sellers probably do!  Hey.... isn't that a TV show??

Mar 05, 2013 11:26 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Some of my neighbors have a dog poop cam.  If Willie poops and I don't scoop, I can forget about listing their house when they move.

Mar 05, 2013 11:34 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Pat,

There are some who do have their cameras just never know!! Good advice talk when you get into your car!!!

Mar 05, 2013 12:01 PM
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Hi there Pat, you just never know do you? We alert our clients to the possibility of cameras and try not to discuss anything related to an offer inside homes we show. We did hear about a nanny cam installed in one home several years ago and the sellers were livid about the comments someone made while showing the home.

Mar 05, 2013 01:44 PM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Pat, I've shown a house before that the listing agent disclosed to us there were not only cameras in the house but also a hidden room.  Years later I met the owner of the house...creepy dude.

Mar 05, 2013 01:45 PM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Grants Pass, OR - Bend, OR
@TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS

The cams prove to be such useful tools when a loved one goes missing (i.e. 48 Hours Mystery)... but hell, now I have to worry about looking in drawers and closets and using the potty while showing a home... never gave that much thought Patricia!  LOL!

Mar 05, 2013 02:36 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide
Spotted a hidden one recently viewing a home, may install a couple just to watch over my food. ;)
Mar 05, 2013 02:48 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a seller once call me the evening after a home inspection of their house.  They told me that I was remarkably polite and respectful of their house and belongings, and they were calling to thank me for that.

Gee, what had they been doing during the inspection?  They weren't "home..."

Mar 05, 2013 08:20 PM
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

Pat, excellent advice. someone is always watching and listening. It is always good to be careful what you say. sometimes it can come back & bite you

Mar 05, 2013 08:41 PM
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

I try not to think about it because the idea of a camera being on me pretty much anywhere I go is just an unsettling feeling. But this does bring to mind an agent from my old office who was caught going thru the sellers' cabinets because the camera was on him. Yikes...

Mar 05, 2013 08:54 PM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach
I like to get back into my car before talking strategy with my clients. You just never know who is listening. Your post and its comments have inspired me to revisit 1984. I haven't read it in years and probably have it in my bookcase.
Mar 05, 2013 09:15 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Inwatching crime stories on tv we can realize that they always get their man by watching the video stream.  I guess it's just part of life now.

Mar 05, 2013 09:31 PM
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Good morning Pat, ouch..this really makes me think.  Our precious our privacy is and how it is slipping away.  Nice post!!

Mar 05, 2013 10:32 PM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Pat -- thanks for the reminder, as if we needed it after watching "Person of Interest".  For those who don't drive their clients in their own cars, it shows the importance of having a good office space to discuss the details in.

Mar 06, 2013 05:19 AM