Tower Genius’ 3 tips for successful cell site leasing negotiations…
Negotiating a cell tower lease is a daunting task. There’s a lot of confusing paperwork involved with tricky telecom legalese terms that can lead you into trouble or a bad deal if you are not careful. As a property owner, your aim should be to get the best deal for your property.
Unfortunately, most cell tower leasing company representatives are well prepared as opposed to property owners, and this is why many end up making a bad deal. At Tower Genius, we believe that every landowner should be able to make informed decisions.
This is why we decided to make our process of dealing with successful site leasing negotiations public. Read these tips before you sign a contract.
Be Very Patient
- Agents and asset managers from cell tower companies like SBA Communications, Crown Castle and American Tower are always under the pressure to make things happen and it’s not just with your site, they have to deal with hundreds of sites that have been assigned to them by the company.
They are pressured to record and report every time they reach an agreement with a landowner as well as what transpired during the deal. This has allowed them to perfect their techniques that usually pulls the pressure on the landowner.
- They will threaten you with site relocation, drop-dead dates, and may even offer signing bonuses and then take them away. In reality, these are just techniques to get you to sign a deal without having you to make a fuss or research more.
- Tower companies will often try to extend the lease when there are still 15 years or more remaining. Extending the lease too early usually does not benefit the landlord. However waiting until the last year or two before lease expiration also does not benefit the landlord and also puts your site at risk. The “sweet spot” for negotiating a great cell tower lease extension with companies like SBA Communications, Crown Castle and American Tower is when there is between 10 years and 5 years remaining on the back side of your cell tower ground lease agreement.
Do Not Speak First
- In any negotiation, the person who speaks first is typically at a disadvantage because the other party can counter easily. However, when dealing with cell tower negotiations, there is a 100% chance that you’ll be at a disadvantage if you speak first.
So let the cell tower company throw the offer at you and then think about it before saying anything else. Keep in mind that these guys will always throw lowball offers to you because they know that they deal with uninformed landowners all the time.
- We highly recommend that you should never counter their offer unless you see an interest within them. If their offer is really bad, then just reject it instead of negotiating with them. Follow Nancy Reagan’s advice. Just say no.
Usually Ask for More
- Remember this is like The Price is Right. Get as close as you can to the target without going over and losing the deal. There is a good chance that if you have never negotiated with a wireless carrier like T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T or a cell tower company before, you may be getting a very bad deal.
This is why we always recommend hiring an expert in determining cell tower leasing rates for your area, like Tower Genius before you negotiate a deal.
Get in touch with us to evaluate your property and find out what your land’s actual worth. Call Kevin or Steve at 888-313-9750.