Starting from scratch at 50

  • Lisa Stone of Peterborough is starting a new career as a real estate agent at age 50. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lisa Stone of Peterborough is starting a new career as a real estate agent at age 50.  —Courtesy photo

  • Lisa Stone of Peterborough attends a class for new agents at Keller-Williams. —Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, April 04, 2017 6:41AM

Lisa Stone has spent the majority of her life in retail. When her most recent position as a sales coach came to an end, she had to sit down and make a decision.

A few months ago, Stone purchased her second house in Peterborough. It was an exposure to the world of real estate – one she hadn’t had much interest in before, she said. But at the time, she was mulling her next move, knowing that her position as a sales coach was ending in a few months.

“I remembered what buying my first house did for me, what it meant,” said Stone. “It gives you a whole new outlook on your family’s progress.”

At 50 years old, Stone is too young to retire, but old enough that the idea of starting a whole new career is daunting to her. Especially, she said, a career in real estate, where the paycheck is variable and not always guaranteed. 

“It’s especially scary to move into a field without a regular paycheck, and journey out into this completely different model,” said Stone. “I asked myself, ‘Am I going to be able to convince people that, as a new agent, I’m the right person to help them buy or sell their house?’”

And, she said, the job isn’t like other’s she’s had in more ways than just how she receives her paycheck. 

“Most jobs, when you go to work, you have a list of things to do. You finish the work, and it spits out a paycheck. With this job, it doesn’t just come to you. You have to find people looking to buy or sell. There’s lots of opportunity to work with social media or talk to people to make those connections,” said Stone. 

But, she said, a big part of the job is connecting with people – both in terms of finding clients and being able to relate to them as they go through what can often be an emotional process, and that’s something she has plenty of experience with. And, she said, with her own mother aging and needing more help, she was looking for a job where she could set her own hours.

“When I was 30, I thought I had to take the job where I would make the most money,” said Stone. “At 50, I think that I want to do what’s fun and flexible. I guess with age comes a sense of trust and confidence in yourself.”

So, she said, she jumped in with both feet, and took the two week course and test to become a licensed real estate agent, and took a job at Keller-Williams Metropolitan in Bedford.

The firm is big enough that Stone can get mentoring help as she learns the basics of the career, she said. And sometimes that’s needed, as she gets a handle on skills like market analysis.

“I haven’t done research like this since college,” said Stone, of the process of determining market value. 

But the paperwork and other skills will come, said Stone. For now, she’s focusing on the making connections and settling into what she hopes will be her new career. 

“Most people now, they’re not retiring until they’re 70,” said Stone. “So the good thing is that I have 20 years to get really good at this.”


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.