You can start interviewing brokers while you're in real estate school, or right around the time you take the state real estate exam. You do not want to put it off too long because many states have a timeframe in which you must hang your license with a broker … why pay extra for moving your license from inactive to active, when you can immediately have it active?
So while you're taking classes, start doing your homework on reputable brokers in your area. (Reputation is important !!) If you are attending a real estate school in person, you will find bulletin boards with all sorts of ads from the brokers wanting new agents. But you can also look in the classified ads section of the newspaper and search online for brokers in your area. And an online school may also be able to provide a list of brokers for you to research.
You'll want to check out the brokers' websites as many have pages dedicated to interested agents. These pages will outline some of the highlights of the broker's agent programs. They should give you an idea of whether you want to take the time to interview with them. And if you do, just call up and say you are working towards your sales license and want to discuss their programs for new agents.
For almost all situations for new residential resales agents, you are looking at becoming an Independent Contractor. You will not be an employee. Taxes will be your responsibility. You will receive a 1099 for the previous year's earnings. Why is this important? It's a reminder that this is not a job. It's a business. And that's why interviewing brokers is so important. You want to make sure you pick the company that works for you!
Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Be professional, take an updated resume and be ready to discuss your background. But also be prepared to ask them questions! Ask them about their training programs and their office support. Get the details on each of their commission plans so you can calculate which one makes the most financial sense for you. And do not forget to ask about the direction the company is going in the future. In the end, you want to make sure that the broker and the company philosophies fit your personality and business plan!