One agent is as good as another, so if one doesn't "perform" then we just move on to the next. Commoditization of the work force seems to be the order of the day - so it is somewhat natural that buyers and sellers would treat real estate agents the same way.
This is a tough topic for me to address objectively. However, I have seen many blogs recently from agents touting their expertise as "local experts". Meanwhile, I'm also seeing quite a number of other agents bragging about the number of listings that they have.
In the last few months I have heard variations on this statement in various forms and guises. Truth be told ever since I've been in this business I've noticed the same trend. Everyone seems to want about $50-$100k more than they can possibly afford.