What are cell tower land lease rates in 2022? If determining cell tower rental rates was easy, you wouldn't be reading this. So you've probably been contacted to have a cell tower placed on your property or somebody knocked on the door of your building and they would like to lease some rooftop space to place 4G or 5G cellular antennas on your roof and you are wondering what it's worth or how much you can get per month in wonderful beautiful cell tower rent payments? And of course you asked your attorney but they have no idea what cell tower lease rent is worth... but they know somebody who has a tower....
Face it, nobody knows hardly anything about cell towers and their values. Understand that if you've been contacted to have a cell tower placed on your land, you are potentially holding a winning six or seven figure lottery ticket in your hand. The clock is ticking since the cell tower site acquisition leasing consultant probably gave you a deadline and they want an answer from you, and they are likely talking to some of your neighbors as well. The problem is that you can't pull up a database of cell tower land leases to figure out pricing.
Tick tock... Tick tock... Tick Tock.
Here are seven common errors that property owners make in determining cell tower ground rental values on newly proposed cell towers and expiring tower lease agreements. They are presented in no particular order.
Cell tower lease rental values are determined on a site by site basis. A cell tower site acquisition agent will often tell a property owner or building owner that there is a "range" for cell tower rent values or X or Y in this area. While that may actually be the case that they are only offering property owners $400 or $500 per month in a rural area, that does not reflect the value of the actual tower rental. There are many factors that go into determining the value of the site. When you immediately counter an offer of $500 with an offer of $2,000 or $1,000 without ever seeing a lease agreement or having them survey your property, all the leasing agent needs to do is find somebody willing to take less than your offer of $1,000. You just lost the cell tower revenue.
Again, this is a great way to kill a cell tower deal at the onset. All the leasing agent needs to do is to find somebody who is okay with not having additional tower rental income and you've just sunk your chances of getting a cell tower.
Signing a term sheet never puts you in a good negotiating position especially when they tell you to "take it or leave it". Sometimes a simple "no" will be sufficient. Do not sign a term sheet whenever possible. It only helps them, not you.
The cell tower leasing agent is not your friend. Don't forget that. They are incentivized not to get you the optimal cell tower land lease rates.
If I had a dollar for every time a got a call from somebody who was contacted about getting a cell tower on their land or about getting cell site antennas installed on their building -- and lost the phone number or business card of the tower consultant, I would have a huge stack of dollars. It's like losing a winning scratch off lottery ticket worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The strategy is to get them to sink money into your cell tower location and commit to your site before the lease is signed so you can get favorable leasing terms. The best way to get top cell tower land lease rates is to have the tower company or carrier schedule an engineering site visit so they produce a Lease Exhibit that you can review all the specifics and details of their design and plans prior to signing a lease. If you have a prime location you should be able to get them to spend money on a site visit without having a lease or term sheet signed. Agreeing to a price or terms prior to this is a mistake that landlords frequently make.
Never go full boiler-plate!!! If you aren't sure about if you are getting the best cell tower land lease rates on your newly proposed or existing site, talk to Kevin or Steve from Tower Genius, the USA's best cell tower lease consultants.