"Let me tell you from experience, most of the information available on the internet is at least a little incorrect."
A) Who puts that information on the internet? Read earlier in this thread and the answer is AGENTS.
B) A high percentage of RE marketing is incorrect or misleading. Who does that? ....AGENTS.
Like any sales profession, we, the salespeople, are our own worst enemy. Many answers ago, I talked about good agents level the playing field for the consumer - so that one party can't take advantage of another. There is nothing better than being in a transaction with another good agent, who is knowledgeable, respectful, and checks their ego at the door.
As I thought more and more about the unnamed broker's thoughts at JFK, I feel, at least for my model, he is right. My clients EXPECT me to advise them from a financial perspective, they EXPECT me to point out issues that they don't see, they EXPECT me to lead them through the process, they EXPECT to have confidence in me, my experience, and my perspectives, so they can feel comfortable about the hugely significant decisions they are making. They EXPECT me to be honest with them and tell them both the good and the bad.
The bitter taste consumers experience with agents is when their expectations aren't met or agent after agent sets such low expectations that we become a "necessary evil" as the consumer wonders what the heck they are paying all this money for.
The low bar to entry is something I don't think has been discussed here despite a brief rant about NAR. The only reason I see the low bar is for the benefit of NAR, our respective states, and the local boards because it equals $$$ to them via membership dues and fees. As I mentioned previously, many brokerages do the same thing - just want names on their roster - someone in there will sell something sooner or later. The reality is that the financial structures are such from top to bottom, that for some brokerages, even 2-3% commission is not working.
As far as KW, Gary Keller is a genius, and I suspect many agents are going their because of their agent oriented model. An excerpt from;
"The company's agent-centric approach, including a rewards system for sharing profits, has helped to fuel the company's growth -- Keller Williams ended 2010 with 701 offices and 79,315 sales associates in the United States and Canada, up from about 420 offices and 39,000 sales associates as of August 2004."
Many other brick and mortar powerhouses are consolidating offices because their revenue isn't covering their expenses.
In every sector of every business that ever existed, QUALITY SERVICE is a niche. For me, I am ok that there are substandard, underachieving agents out there, because it makes it easy for me to look really, really outstanding as I point out the errors and mistakes (like misinformation on the internet) of agents across the table from me to my clients.