Paige, You need to have a business plan in place with implementation beginning say, January 1st, 2008. I am with Keller Williams Realty and can think of no other company with the amount of "realistic" training available in the industry. We have just implemented our new 36:12:3 program (36 tranactions in 12 months through 3 hours of lead generation a day). Our market center has over 300 days of training a year. We have the technology to support a new agent and to give them the tools to start generating leads which will lead to business.
However, like any business you need capital to start and implement your business plan. I would have funds available to implement your busienss plan and provide living income to you for a minimum of 3 months. There is absolutely NO REASON you cannot start generating escrows within your first 30 days of having your license. This can happen through the IMPLEMENTATION and ADHERENCE to your business plan. The company you choose should make this the hallmark of their training!
Many Realtors/Licensees make the mistake of doing this job part time with part time results. If you make a committment to our industry the industry will reward you handsomely. On my reading list I would immediately go out and buy, "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller. Gary is the CEO of Keller Williams and the book is read and followed by many, many Realtors who donot belong to Keller Williams (It was on the New York times best seller list!).
Harvard Business School did a study years ago and identified real estate as the quickest way to a 6 figure income. I knew of a RE/MAX agent named Nate Brooks who, before being licensed, had a bound business plan, personal video made, brochures, business cards, stationary and a data base ready to go so when he got his license he immediately went to work. First year he did $150,000. This was back in 1989! Today he'd probably have done $500,000+.
I think you are in the "golden age" of real estate. Never before have such resources been available to the Realtor to realize their financial dreams. Remember, you are a "sales person" and as such need to practice, practice, practice your profession. Integrity and Ethics should be your hallmark. Welcome to the fray!!