Hiring a Cell Tower Lease Consultant

Hiring CellWaves as your cell tower consultant provides an advantage at every step along the way of the cell tower leasing process.  In this complicated industry, no other company even comes close to CellWaves’ 70+ years real and verifiable wireless leasing experience.  Be careful with “consultants” who have never worked for a wireless carrier before, never attended a zoning hearing, never built a cell tower, never set foot at a cell tower location and have never attended a site walk to defend their client’s lease positions with tower developers.  These “consultants” will have no professional contacts within the wireless carrier community such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Nextel or Clearwire.  They have no idea how to negotiate when there’s a twist in the plan, and yet the “consultants” will convincingly claim to be  “wireless experts” after having worked in a call center making outbound calls to try to buy cell tower leases from landlords.  Or has a law degree in ambulance chasing and now claims to be a “cell tower attorney.”  Whether you’re looking at a new lease, renewal, modification, or an extension, with so much at stake, you need to employ the best to protect your interests.  It’s our goal to help you achieve the best results.  CellWaves is the only truly experienced industry expert dedicated to working for property owners.

The Role of Your CellWaves Cell Tower Consultant

As a property owner contemplating a cell tower lease, you’ll find that a cell tower leasing consultant can provide invaluable negotiation services.  At CellWaves, we work for property owners.  We need to know how much to negotiate your lease to.  We rely on our decades of experience to determine the value of your lease.  Wireless carriers have their own team of professionals looking out for their interests, so its important for you to have support on your side by employing a CellWaves consultant with expertise in handling talks with these carriers.  Our role is to utilize our expertise to help our clients get the most out of every cell tower lease.  CellWaves consultant assist you as the landlord getting better terms on the lease, protects your assets, and is your representative throughout the process.  Our consultant recognize the value your land can be to wireless carriers, and will advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive great value for your property.

You can’t trust the wireless carriers or tower companies to be on your side, but CellWaves consultants are always your trusted resource.

What a Cell Tower Consultant Can Do for You

Cellwaves Lease Process

Your CellWaves consultant will focus on getting you better lease terms, protect your asset, and is your representative throughout the entire process. We recognize the value your land is to wireless carriers, and will advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive great value for your property.

  • CellWaves lease consultant can also help with negotiations if you’re up for a lease renewal.  Even if you feel you received adequate compensation for the first portion of the lease agreement, don’t assume that the property has the same value now. CellWaves consultant can help you with your specific property questions because a lot of questions will need to be addressed during these negotiations.  CellWaves has abundant experience in the cell tower industry, consulting, and negotiating for landlords in every state in the U.S.  You can trust a CellWaves consultant to protect your assets and prioritize your needs.
  • We are the best solution for all of your cell phone tower questions and concerns. If you have been approached by a cell phone company interested in leasing your property or you have questions regarding an existing cell phone tower lease, please feel free to contact us. We will not charge you for an initial consultation.

What Your Consultant Will Watch Out For

Some parts of a lease will set off red flags for your consultant, because he knows they’re not in the best interest of the landlord.  One red flag to be aware of is when a wireless carrier offers to raise their rent, for example, by offering a 10% increase every five years.  Because of our experience, your CellWaves consultant will correct this because we know there’s a much better rate instead.  The carriers will bank on misleading the landlord into thinking they’re offering a really great deal, when they’re actually only looking out for their own bottom line. Without a consultant, the wireless carrier will often include this limitation, and the landlord might not realize, until later, when it is too late.

Who Can Benefit from a Consultant

One of our main goals is that a cell site will not contribute to devaluation of your property. Whether you are considering a long-term or short-term contract, our cell tower lease consultants work with landowners of all different types of property and different interests pertaining to their cell sites to maximize return and protect their assets.

Private Landowners:  Whether you own a small parcel of land, a 100-acre farm, or a building with rooftop value to wireless carriers, we have the unique expertise to provide you with options, insights, and protection for your cell site lease.

Commercial Landowners:  We know your priority is to maximize the net operating income (NOI) as a commercial property owner.  Whether you are a property owner who is an owner/user or a multimillion-dollar commercial real estate company, CellWaves is well versed in providing presentations and reports to property managers and owner groups in order to document the return on investment (ROI) of our services.

HOAs and Condo Complexes:  Homeowners Associations want to maximize income opportunities to offset their many expenses.  Whether you are a small HOA or a 20-story condominium, we can help you with your specific cell tower lease needs while also helping you navigate various owner/tenant interests.

Municipalities and Government Organizations:  Our lease experts have worked with municipalities and governments all over the country.  We have a solid understanding of municipal processes and can often provide PowerPoint presentations and other materials to help you pitch your specific idea to the city council.

Malls and Shopping Centers:  We understand you want to get the most NOI possible for your property.  Whether you are a strip mall or a large urban shopping center, we can help you with the intricacies your specific cell site lease needs.

Hotels and Motels:  Whether you operate a large hotel in an urban metropolis or a small motel in a rural town, we can help you take advantage of your cell site lease needs. Our experts have worked with hundreds of hotels and motels over the past few decades, and we can use that experience to your advantage.

Religious Institutions and Non-Profit Organizations:  A cell tower lease can provide your institution or organization the income it needs to help offset expenses. We understand you want to help your community in the best possible way and may not always have the resources available to take advantage of the opportunity when approached with a cell site proposition.

School Districts:  School districts own many properties, but health concerns about cell towers near schools and playgrounds can be sensitive.  We assist school districts navigating through these issues with smart site selections, antenna containment, and other means to mitigate any questions concerning safety.

Does Your Consultant Understand?

In addition to determining rent and escalator clauses, cell tower ground leases also allocate responsibility for items such as option periods, option fees, access, termination, assignability, removal, right of first refusal, revenue sharing, collocates, and option areas. They are often drafted with one or two six-month options periods, an initial 5-10-year lease term, and multiple five-year lease option terms, extending the potential lease to a total term of 30 to 50 years or more.

Most cell tower ground leases also contain early cancellation provisions, designed to permit the lessee to terminate the lease with little notice or penalty. However, cell tower ground lease cancellation occurs infrequently, particularly when more than one tenant occupies a tower.

A cell tower ground lease almost always has a positive effect on a property’s value, but sometimes it reduces the property’s value. The value penalty typically occurs when the cell tower’s lease rights are sold to a third party. The penalty exists largely because the sale of the lease rights does not eliminate current or future landlord responsibilities to the tower tenant — and a cell tower with no income can reduce a property’s value.

Making Your Property Available for a Cell Tower

Perhaps you’ve not been approached by a carrier, but you are looking for rental income and have property you think would be suitable for a cell tower.  There are steps you can take to begin the process, but be aware, wireless carriers are extremely particular about where they put their cell towers. Many who try to obtain one will fail to do so.  However, it doesn’t hurt to at least examine what might be required, and a consultant can help navigate this process.

Mainly, you’ll want to examine your local area, to see if there are other cell towers already in existence.  This will lead you to also take a look at zoning requirements for your property. Generally, areas zoned for residential use cannot be zoned for cell tower installations. Other factors that make a cell site more appealing include a lack of trees to block the signals, being on a hill, or having high-profile customers who would benefit from the cell tower near their area.

If you feel that you meet all these requirements, you can submit your property for consideration via the wireless carriers’ websites.   Once you’ve sent the required information, the final step is to be patient and wait to hear back from the wireless carriers.  If you are fortunate enough to be selected, that is an ideal time to contact a consultant.

Steps to Hiring a Cell Tower Consultant

sublease and locationOnce you’ve been contacted by a carrier, whether you marketed your property or they called you on their own, you don’t want to delay in expressing your interest.  Frequently, the carriers are in a hurry to sign a lease. So, a delay on your part could mean the rental income goes to someone else.

When seeking to hire a cell tower consultant, you’ll want to look for certain key elements.  For one, make sure they have a proven record of good results. Make sure they have real world experience working for a wireless carrier in their past so they know what goes on on the other side of the negotiating table.  Be careful with consultants who claim to be experts when in fact all they have done was to have worked in leasing call centers in their past professional lives. Another important aspect is understanding all the fees involved in the consultation. Insist on a compensation arrangement that is results-based.  Too often we find landlords receiving large consultation bills for failed negotiations. You do not want to owe consultants tens of thousands of dollars for scaring away wireless companies.

And finally, read the road signs.  We often hear that a number of  “consultants” are very slow in responding, if at all.  Landlords would have to chase down the consultants to get an answer in the initial inquiry or follow up.  Here’s a rule of thumb – if the consultant is non-responsive now when you are trying to give them business, imagine how impossible it will be after they’ve locked you up in a contract.  We hear stories of Dr. Jackal Mr. Hyde screaming consultants, those who do not follow through, those who cannot write a comprehensive professional email, “all  fluff / no substance”, and lacks real credible references that you can talk with and verify directly.  Perform your due diligence and verify the references because it is too easy to gravitate to the first convenient “smooth-talking” consultant.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

Sometimes clients feel that they should obtain an attorney for legal counsel.  Just make sure you are seeking for a licensed attorney certified to practice law in your state.  Don’t be fooled by a former wireless attorney who has been disbarred or unable to practice in your state.  When were they admitted to the bar?  Last year?  Assume nothing.  Be ware of the internet.  Call locally.  Hire locally.  That’s your best bet.

Some key differences exist between a cell tower attorney and a cell tower consultant.  The key difference is ability to give legal advice. While your cell tower consultant can give advice on numerous issues, he or she isn’t able to give specific legal advice like an attorney can offer.  A cell tower attorney should have expertise in knowing the laws governing your ground lease, but may be clueless in navigating beyond that.  Not having the experience to negotiate with the wireless carriers could potentially kill the deal.  This latter part is where CellWaves consultants become a major asset for property owners.

On the other hand, your CellWaves consultant has vast experience working with clients and advocating for them during negotiations with wireless carriers.  It’s our specialty. We find it helpful to negotiate the contracts and then have a client’s attorney review the contract later.  Something else to keep in mind is that your attorney may be licensed to practice in only one state, which could negatively impact their ability to advocate for you if you have cell tower properties in multiple states.  Your CellWaves consultants have experience in multiple states, and researches how your cell tower lease is impacted by the particular region it’s in.

What Could Happen Without a Consultant

Some landlords can be tempted to forgo using a consultant, and simply negotiate on their own.  The inherent danger is not having access to the knowledge that a CellWaves consultant possesses.  An unsuspecting landlord might focus primarily on rent, and overlook the rest of the terms. This allows the wireless carriers and tower companies to have the advantage because non-financial terms are crucial, especially where rooftop leases are concerned.

Many who choose to negotiate without a consultant end up regretting it because they didn’t anticipate various issues that arose later, especially in the non-financial side of the lease agreement.  At CellWaves, no landlord issues ever come as a surprise. We’ve seen both sides, and our experience allows us to craft language that protects our landlords’ future rights against carriers and tower companies.