This blog will give you some insight, http://www.trulia.com/blog/beverly_and_bob_meaux/2013/11/our_demise_was_shortsighted_real_estate_agents_are_here_to_stay_here_s_what_you_need_to_know
In response to your question regarding no listings. This is how all agents begin in the business. You have to get the right start and training, and then you will get the listings. You have MANY opportunities to do this through open houses, phone calls, door knocking, your sphere, craigslist, online, facebook and more. You may also have the opportunity of working with a successful team to start out as a buyer's agent, lead caller, assistant or something else.
Watch the video series in the link.