Message from Kevin F. Donohue, Managing Partner at Tower Genius.
At least 25% of all rooftop wireless landlords live with a cell tower lease default issue and do absolutely nothing about it. We have the following urgent alert for building owners with cell sites on their rooftops or property owners with cell phone towers on their land. Have an expert review your lease agreement if the carrier is upgrading the site. Just because the Permitted Use paragraph says the cellular carrier has the right to expand, upgrade and modify the cell site, it does not mean that they can do whatever they want. There is gold in your cell tower lease, you just need the right tools to uncover and extract it. Think of a cell site leasing expert as dynamite, or a jackhammer. We can uncover cell tower lease default issues that even highly experienced cell tower attorney-types eventually grudgingly admit to.
To protect carrier and tower company reputations and not embarrass anyone in particular at T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro PCS, AT&T, American Tower, SBA Communications or Crown Castle, we will just call them “MUD”. We all know from watching Bugs Bunny what MUD is spelled backwards…
MUD... Here are some examples of cell tower lease defaults and golden nuggets we discovered in the past several months.
Let’s just say that you owned a fast food franchise like McDonald’s, but you could only hire individuals from the cell tower industry. Sadly about half of them would be too stupid to make the fast food and we would not trust the majority of the rest of them with operating the cash register as they would probably be stealing from it. Yet the dumbest thing wireless landlords often do is believe what they are told as being 100% gospel truth by carriers, their real estate leasing representatives or even their attorneys. We find cell tower lease default and lease compliance issues on a weekly basis that landlords can use to their benefit to renegotiate their cellular leases.
In fact over the past six months, the average landlord for whom we have been able to renegotiate their lease due to a compliance or default issue has seen the value of their cell tower lease increase by over $22,000 over the next five year leasing term – and that is a nationwide average. This number is significantly higher in the bigger cities.
We estimate that at least one third of rooftop cell site leases have some default or compliance issues that can be identified. Why such a high number? During the wireless boom of the 1990’s when carriers were in a race to build their networks, many corners were cut. Landlords can capitalize on this with a little professional help and a little luck. It also helps having an 800-pound wireless gorilla on your side as your advocate.
The cell tower companies and cellular carriers do not like to admit when they are wrong, and they hate giving up money. However, they need to live -- and die -- by the language and terms of their lease agreements. When our cell tower valuation or cell tower audit determines that there are compliance issues at your cell tower location, we try to reason with the carriers using facts and logic. We always like to deal with them using sugar as opposed to using a stick. But at the end of the day, they will determine how we handle them. And sometimes a cell tower lease default letter is not enough, and we have to terminate a cell site lease and renegotiate to get it reinstated.
Has your cell site been upgraded to 5G or LTE? Does something seem like it’s not right or you have questions regarding your lease? Are carrier contractors constantly coming in and out and you have no idea if they are building things to plan? Are there blatant work related problems or issues? Tell the “Super-Geniuses” at the cell tower carriers that it’s time to call up the cavalry. Talk to a real cell tower expert about potential cell tower lease defaults at your wireless facility, and get them corrected without having to hire a cell tower attorney.
We would like to leave you with a warning and a word of caution.
Our company is not in the business of publicizing every time a former cell tower carrier attorney has a fart in the wind and gets a rental increase for a landlord. What we do for our clients is strictly confidential. We have never had a successful cell tower negotiation where we did not get a rental increase for our landlords. However even if we didn't add a dime rental increase, the value that we bring to the table is not only found in the increased cell tower rents. Paid press releases are usually published by newspapers with nothing to write about, and they "create news" that's really not news at all. If we shamefully promoted every cell tower lease default matter that we successfully identified and negotiated for landlords over the last several years, we would probably need to hire a PR Publicist.
And isn't it amazing how some other cell tower consultant's websites who claim to be "cell tower experts" sound very similar to ours? If they steal words, ideas and content from us, what do you think they will do with your money? Remember, nothing is free.
Our competition also makes the false claim that they are the "only" independent landlord consultants. Sure... they probably tell unsuspecting landlords that they invented the smart phone as well. It's no secret, even the carriers who we wouldn't trust to run a McDonald's cash register are too smart to hire those clowns.
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