Kristen Meyer Lapriore's existential crisis is familiar to anyone who has pursued a career in the music biz in their 20s. Most hit a wall at 30, reassess their life goals, and try to imagine themselves hanging out in clubs past the age of 40.
"I was like, 'Am I gonna be that old rock chick leaning on the bar at 2 a.m. every night, chain-smoking and talking about the Get-Up Kids?'" she says, laughing. Yet the 35-year-old has found a way to stay connected to the scene—through a career in real estate, of all things.
Meyer first moved to Seattle in 1995, when she was offered a job in college radio promotions at Sub Pop. During her tenure, she also tried her hand at marketing, and held a position in the new media department just as the Internet was gaining ground. But Meyer eventually realized that she could no longer grow at the company.
"I just knew that there was nothing more for me to learn there," she says. "If I wanted to do anything else, I'd have to move to New York or L.A., and I didn't want to do that."
Fascinated by the real estate market, Meyer quit Sub Pop in 2003, obtained her Realtor's license, and became a certified agent. Like any novice Realtor, she started out by finding homes for her friends. And it just so happens that the first friend who needed a house was Death Cab's Ben Gibbard, followed by the Shins' Dave Hernandez, producer Phil Ek, Steve Ross from the Briefs, and Gabe Kerbrat, the infamous roadie for the Murder City Devils.
"Let's put it this way," Meyer says. "Gabe had a hot tub before he had heat."
Meyer has since become a specialist in a niche market: finding homes for people in the music biz, which is trickier than you'd think. For one, she says, showing past credit history and income is necessary. But when a lot of what you make is handed to you in cash at the end of the night, or fluctuates year to year based on touring schedules, obtaining a loan is that much more difficult. Not to mention that certain suits have a hard time relating.
"If you walk into a bank with long hair and tattoos," cautions Meyer, "that doesn't look good to the person holding the purse strings of a loan." But it helps that the loan officer she works with is Steph Fairweather, wife of original Green River bassist Bruce Fairweather.
"Because we all deserve to live," says Meyer. "We all should have the right to a floor and running water and a ceiling and walls." &mdash Brian Barr —www.kristenmeyer.com.