Top 10 Mistakes Made
By Cell Tower Landlords

Common Blunders To Avoid.

What Are The "Top 10 Mistakes Made By Cell Tower Landlords"?

By Steve Kazella

We've decided to put together this list of Top 10 Mistakes Made By Cell Tower Landlords to shed some light on common errors made by even the most seasoned real estate professionals. It's worked for Letterman, so why not give it our own twist.

So you've been approached by a wireless carrier who is looking to rent space on your land or put a cell site on your building's roof, or maybe you already have a cell tower and the tower management company is looking to extend your lease or buy you out of the contract? You probably have a million things running through your mind. Here's a short list of what NOT to do. For the sake of time we only included the top ten common blunders, but there are dozens more that did not make the list.

Here Are The Top 10 Mistakes
Made By Cell Tower Landlords:

And... the Top 10 mistakes made by cell tower landlords, in no particular order, are...

10.  Give the carrier a dollar price in the first conversation.

Well, the cell tower company's site acquisition representative told me they needed an answer immediately or they would go to another location, so I threw out a number. 

9.    Sign a term sheet or deal memo locking you into their unfavorable business terms.

They said that they are required to have me sign off on the deal memo, and they pointed out to me that it isn't binding or anything, and they just needed my initials and for me to date it. Is that bad?

8.    Start negotiating before they have seen a site plan from an architect.

I gave the lease they gave us last week to our attorney, and he redlined it and I gave it back to them a month ago, and haven't received a response. The told me that the carrier can't waste money on an architect until they see our response, why is that a problem?

7.    Fail to research what their zoning ordinance says about construction of cell towers.

No, of course i didn't look up the cell tower ordinance, why is that important?

6.    Tell the carrier representative at the site meeting that they want to receive subleasing revenue in your cell site lease.

Yeah, I told him we want half of the revenues that they get from other companies who place their antennas here as well.

5.    Ask their attorney what is the going rate for a cell tower.

Look, our family has been using the same attorney for 20 years and we asked him and he had no idea about this sort of thing but would research it for me at $375 per hour.

4.    Show up at your Environmental Site Visit or town's Zoning approval meeting and try to answer questions in a public community forum.

I didn't think it was a big deal for me to be there, so I started to try to anwer the questions they were asking me, how was I to know what to tell them?

3.    Give the tower company 10,000 square feet of space.

They said they needed a 100' x 100' space, so I said "okay". Why is that too much?

2.    Agree to cell tower lease rental increases that escalate less than 3% annually.

They told me that 10% escalating every 5 year terms was the best they could offer me.

1.    Not having an expert from Tower Genius fix the 12 other items in the lease that need to be adjusted that are not on this "Top 10 List".

And there you have it, the "Top 10 Mistakes Made By Cell Tower Landlords" that we see every single day, week and month. The truth is that this was just a sampling of the things we hear from cell site landlords all the time. This list could be much, much longer. Unfortunately by the time most landlords and their attorneys realize that they are in way over their heads in the cell tower lease negotiation process,  it is too late to do very much of anything.

Here is a bonus freebie... Don't believe all the hype about the cell tower industry. Lots of #FakeCellTowerNews going around, mostly hype. 

It doesn't need to be that way for you, you can simply call Tower Genius, the leading cell tower leasing Advisor and Consultants in the USA who work exclusively for landlords and property owners. Tower Genius can be reached at 888-313-9750 or at 855-4-CELL TOWER.

Find out from Tower Genius how we help landlords and property owners in the USA and Canada maximize cell site lease values and get the best possible terms for:

  • Cell tower lease agreements
  • Tower lease extensions
  • Cell site upgrades
  • Small cell proposals
  • Lease amendments
  • Tower lease buyouts offers
  • Rooftop lease buyout offers
  • Rooftop cell site audits
  • Lease Agreement defaults
  • Cell tower valuations
  • Rent reduction solicitations
  • Verizon Wireless 
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Sprint
  • US Cellular
  • SBA Communications
  • Crown Castle
  • American Tower
  • Rogers
  • Telus
  • Bell Mobility