Yes, a Realtor needs to make the appointments for showings. I have clients who are considering making a move, and just want to understand what they can get for their money and to see homes in the areas they are considering, even if they're not 100 percent ready to move. Sometimes this pre-buying research helps buyers set realistic expectations. I've worked with some people who thought they were ready to move, but based on their current wants, needs and budgets, I've advised them to consider waiting in order to save more money for a downpayment. Others have started looking thinking they would wait six months, but then find thier dream home, and accelerate their timetable. The important thing for you to do is to talk to a couple of agents to find someone who is willing to work together with you in partnership and be patient with you, if you aren't ready to buy immediately.
I'd be happy to provide you some questions you might want to ask agents. I'd be happy to talk to you about seeing some initial homes. Keep in mind that a real estate agent can show you any house that's listed for sale regardless of the real estate company. So, there's no need to call every company to see that company's listings. You probably already knew that, but I've found a lot of first-time buyers didn't realize that's how it works.
Good luck in your research, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help.