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 on your property and the tower management company is looking to extend your tower 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 if you are a cell tower landlord.  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 wireless carrier representative a dollar price in the first conversation when discussing cell tower lease rates.

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. Now I feel like I'm negotiating against myself. Go figure. 

9.    Sign a cell tower leasing 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 wireless 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 that I signed it?  Ummm... yeah.

8.    Start negotiating your cell tower lease agreement before you've have seen lease exhibit drawings or a site plan from a surveyor or from an architect.

I gave the cell tower lease option agreement 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 yet. The told me that the carrier can't waste money on an architect until they see our response, why is that a problem?  Um... how many thousand dollars did your attorney charge for his retainer? 

7.    Fail to research what their wireless zoning ordinance says about construction of cell towers at your parcel.

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

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.  I'm sure the tower will look great at your next door neighbor's property. 

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. That's a winning strategy.... not. 

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 answer the questions they were asking me, how was I to know what to tell them?  All those years of pre-med and pre-law were very useful at the zoning hearing I'm sure. 

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?   Hey ... it's only dirt. 

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.   As their pants began to smolder.

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, Coaching Service and Consultants in the USA who work exclusively for landlords and property owners. Tower Genius can be reached at 1-888-313-9750.
Contact Tower Genius

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  • Cell tower lease agreements
  • Selling Cell Tower Lease
  • Tower lease extensions
  • Cell site upgrades
  • Small cell proposals
  • Lease amendments
  • Tower lease buyout offers
  • Rooftop lease buyout offers
  • Rooftop cell site audits
  • Lease Agreement defaults
  • Cell tower valuations
  • Rent reduction solicitations
  • Lease Optimization Help
  • Lease Revenue Purchase
  • Transactional Coaching
  • Verizon Wireless 
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • DISH Wireless
  • US Cellular
  • SiriusXM
  • Crown Castle
  • American Tower
  • Atlas Tower
  • Phoenix Tower PTI
  • Vertical Bridge
  • SBA Communications
  • Tillman Infrastructure
  • Lyle Company, Black Dot, Md7
  • Everest Infrastructure

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