Having given this much thought . . .
1. Putting up with the second most common material in cat boxes.
The real estate brokerage community gets absolutely hammered in the press and the blogs; yet, somehow, four-fifths of all real estate transactees elect to involve a licensed broker. Go figure.
You'd like to think that you'd get some acknowledgement from a public when you've kept buyers away from bad houses, kept sellers away from buyers who will just tie up a property and walk away, sold people houses that are still well above water and showed them how to leverage it to their benefit - in reality, not so much. Instead, what you see on the blogs, is - how can I grab some of the broker's money, s/he doesn't deserve it, I "found it myself!" (on the internet, thanks to the actions of the broker, et cetera.
Sometimes, I guess, living well is it's own reward.
2. Faster Communications
In the old days, transactions took about the same amount of time - closings were about thirty days, inspection periods were seven to ten days; but we weren't expected to be literally "on call" from 6am to 9pm. We used to go into the office and pick up a bunch of pink slips jokingly titled, "While You Were ****ing Off," and we'd sit down and return calls. Today, people expect you to talk (and text) while driving, while in meetings, while having meals, and while attending to other clients - and they get frosted if you don't! ("You have another client?")
We forget that we are part of a community. We meet today while inquiring about a listing or a showing or an offer, and we forget that it is this First Impression that will stick with us for decades. So when you leave a voice message angrily reminding me that you called once before, a whole hour ago, and I haven't called back . . . when, exactly, do you think I'm going to forget that?
As an "old" broker, I feel the need to tell colleagues of my generation that it is useful to point out that you have knowledge and experience; to younger colleagues, we're not so much interested in what you think you know as in how eager you are to learn what you don't know.
Point being - a fairly new agent, no matter how smart they are, isn't going to impress us. Most of us were young and "smart" once, too. We expect you to be smart.
What we're really concerned with is: if you a young agent, are you willing to learn new things; if you're an older agent, have you been keeping up with things.
Too often, we confuse the roles - the young agent acts as if they've learned everything already; the older agent acts as if there's been nothing new to learn for years.