Cell Tower Lease Extensions & Renewals – Get More Money, Better Terms
The Renewal Offer
Property owners are constantly being contacted to negotiate an extension of their lease for 20, 30 or more years beyond the current lease expiration date. However, these extension offers only serve to benefit the tower company with a property owner getting a fraction of the true value of their land.
Some common lease extension marketing practices include offering:
- One-Time Signing Bonuses
- Bonuses don’t cut it. You deserve more!!
- Small Increase In Tower Rents
- Your land is vital to the cell tower company, get its true value!!
- Scare Tactics – Threatening That You May Lose Your Tower Rents
- Don’t Believe The Hype – Your Tower Isn’t Going Anywhere
The Only Accredited Firm In The Industry
Founder & President, Hugh Odom
Former AT&T Attorney
You’re Commited. Are They?
My dad used to tell me that certain situations were like a “ham and egg breakfast”. The chicken is participating and the pig is committed.
Most cell tower leases are the same as a “ham and egg breakfast”: the cell tower company can terminate the cell tower lease whenever they want, but the property owner is committed for 20, 30 or more years.
Our advice is before you sit down to the breakfast table with a cell tower company, know exactly what is on the menu and exactly what it is going to cost you.
The Danger for You
Lease extension offers may sound reasonable, especially after reading their marketing information, but you deserve better.
Remember you are being asked to commit you and your land for decades into the future. The tower company is not committing to one additional day. When you sign a bad deal, you risk the following:
- Undervalued Rent
- $852,000 is what a cell tower landlord gets underpaid over the life of a cell tower lease
- Increased Risk To You and Your Property
- Certain lease terms expose you to unlimited liability
- Devaluation of Your Property’s Overall Worth
- Small lease terms have big consequences
Should I Sign a Cell Tower Lease Extension?
So, you want to know — should you renew your lease? The answer is yes, but only if you have a great extension offer.
The renewal needs to be of value to you. We will make sure you get the most rent and the best terms during negotiations. Our clients averaged an immediate 306% increase in rent last year. Imagine that for the next 50 years! What would you do with the extra money? We can make that happen for you.
We are the leading cell site consulting firm in the United States due to the services and more importantly the results we get for our clients.
Cell tower lease extension requests are offers by a cell tower companies to property owners to extend an existing cell tower lease by up to 50 additional years. It is crucial that you know the “True Value” of your cell tower before acting. The wrong deal can result in undervalued rents and hazards to you and your property.
Below is a chart that shows the average number of years left on current cell tower contracts, compared to gross margins.
I manage a company with a tower on site.
We got an offer to put a tower on our land.
We bought a building with a tower on it.
My business owns a building with a tower.
Our college received many buyout offers.
My church was offered a buyout.
To my surprise, they owed us money.
Verizon wanted to put a tower on our land.
I inherited property with a cell tower on it.
Our church needed an advocate.
Cell Tower Data - Level The Playing Field
WARNING: THIS IS INSIDER INFORMATION THAT CELL TOWER COMPANIES DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Cell tower companies have access to information that property owners do not and, for years, they have done everything to limit a property owner’s access to this information
Vertical Consultants has access to information related to over 250,000 cell sites across the United States. These cell sites include ground leases, rooftop sites, water tower and utility sites and even sites on billboard and other structures.
Simply stated, the information that Vertical Consultants can provide is exactly what a cell tower company does not what property owners to know when negotiating a new lease or re-negotiating an existing one.
Contact us today to learn more about not only the information we have available, but how we can use that information to make sure you get the best overall cell tower agreement possible.
We are a full-service consulting firm, addressing the real estate, telecom and legal issues surrounding your telecom agreement.
Optimizing the value of your lease is the most important thing you can do. We will assist you in negotiating and structuring a lease extension that will result in maximum value for you today and into the future.
What We Can Do For You
Review Your Lease – We will evaluate the terms and the structure of your current lease to determine not only what options you have, but also what issues need to be addressed. We will also explain how any extension of your current lease may affect you in both the short and long term.
Evaluate Your Cell Site – We will review the tower site based on the characteristics of your cell tower site to determine the value of the cell tower lease not to you, but, more importantly, to the cell tower company leasing your land. We will determine which wireless carriers are using the tower, revenues being derived by the cell tower company, and cost and use restrictions that would limit the cell tower company in possibly relocation of the tower.
Recommend a Strategy – Based on our analysis of the unique features of your cell tower lease, we will recommend a strategy of how you should proceed and how we can best position you in negotiation with your tenant. We will clarify the pros and cons of extending your current lease and determine how to structure your lease as it relates to rental amounts, lease duration, escalation percentages, subtenant revenues, liability and insurance requirements.
Getting You a Better Overall Lease – We work on our client’s behalf to get the best “overall lease”. What does this mean exactly? We work as an advocate for you to get you a lease that looks beyond the immediate future and allows for a structure that will maximize the value of the cell tower lease, not only on day one, but throughout the term of the lease, while, at the same time, minimize the negative impact the agreement can have on your future development, disposition or even financing of your property. We have negotiated lease extensions with all of the major carriers and the major tower companies and our results are un-matched. In 2019, we immediately increased rents for our clients by an average of 306%. Its simple, we do more than give advice, we get results!!!
Free Consultation & Lease Review
We will review your lease or buyout offer for free. If we can help, we will tell you exactly how.
We are the only Accredited firm in the industry (BBB & NASBP Accredited)
We have negotiated over $545,000,000 in cell tower rent.
You deserve to get a fair deal.
Cell Tower Lease Extension – 5 Must-Do’s Before Signing
- Basic Lease Terms– Before you move forward with considering extending your cell tower lease, you need to make sure you understand the basics of your current lease. The following is a list of the basic lease information you need to know before taking the first step:
- Current rent
- When does the cell tower lease actually expire?
- Who is your actual tenant? Crown Castle AT&T, Verizon, American Tower…
- Escalation clauses – how often and at what rate your rent escalates?
- What subtenants are located on the tower?
- How much space are you actually leasing?
If a company looking to extend your lease provides you terms to amend your current cell tower lease, it is important to understand what you currently have and what you need to get.
- Don’t Extend Your Lease Out Of Fear – The majority of cell tower and rooftop lease agreements provide the cell site tenant the right to terminate their lease with as little as 30 days prior written notice. On average, less than 1% of cell sites are decommissioned each year, with more cell sites being constructed or installed each year than those being terminated. Simply stated, the need for cell towers is not contracting but is expanding. Many cell tower companies threaten to terminate your lease if you don’t give them more time by extending their current lease. But what options do they really have to do so? If a cell tower company says they are going to terminate your lease, it is important to understand not only how much it would cost them to do so, but also what operational impact it would have on not only the tower company, but on any sub-tenants occupying/using the tower site.
- Find Out Who You Are Talking To– If you have received a call or email from someone working on behalf of a tower company looking to extend your cell tower lease, the person on the other side of that call or email is usually incentivized by the tower company or the company he works for to get you to sign a lease amendment that extends the term of the current lease. Not only may he or she be a commissioned-based sales person, but that same person may have very little experience in the actual telecom industry and is subject to high-pressure quotas to get you to do a deal. It is not unusual for the person that has contacted you to “stretch the truth” or, even worse, not even know the actual real terms of your lease or the cell tower on your property. Before you go forward with any transaction, you should research the person who has contacted you (and the company they work for) and see who they are and, more importantly, their background, experience and education as it relates to the cell tower/telecom industry.
- Big Bonuses Good, More Rent Better– Cell tower companies are very good about getting you to sign off on the deal that they want you to sign, but not the one you should be signing. A good example is the recent push inside cell tower companies to pressure their sales people to emphasize signing bonuses offered to cell tower landlords rather than offering rent increases. Like any good sales person, the individual who has contacted you to extend your lease will focus on you getting a one-time signing bonus of $20,000, $30,000 or more. Why? It is simple – the cell tower company understands that if they can give away a signing bonus and not a rent increase or revenue share payments for future subtenants, they have fixed their cost to do the deal, and it is a much better deal for them long-term. A signing bonus is like a great tasting dessert, it tastes great, but it will not sustain you long-term like a good four-course meal.
- Money Is Not Everything– Cell tower companies often will put on a good “Dog and Pony Show” about what you are going to be offered from a financial perspective, but never truly discuss non-monetary terms that may expose you and your property to some very severe negative consequences. A cell tower lease not only impacts the area that is being occupied/used by the cell tower company by giving them the rights to use such space, but also places restrictions on the rest of your property and your ability to freely use such property for your personal use or for business operations. A bad cell tower lease could have a negative impact on your ability to redevelop your land, to freely sale your property, or even to have unrestricted rights to refinance your property if the opportunity presents itself. In addition, most cell tower leases do not limit the liability you could incur if you damaged the assets of the cell tower company or, more particularly, interrupted their or any wireless carriers 24/7 operations on your land. A small matter could turn into one that could cost you 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars because you are open to unfettered liability. A cell tower lease extension is not only an opportunity to get more rent, but to secure better overall lease terms.
Historical Cell Tower Lease Extensions Data
American Tower: American Tower spent over 54 million to purchase easements and to extend cell tower lease terms during the first quarter of 2017. American Tower extended over 530 leases and purchases over 160 cell tower lease since the start of 2017. American Tower property revenue saw a 25.7% increase during this same period of time. This was bolster my an updated agreement with Verizon and continuing growth of its 40,000 United States based cell towers.
Crown Castle: Crown Castle spent over 42 million to purchase land and easements and to extend cell tower lease terms during the first quarter of 2017. Crown Castle extended 427 leases and purchased 101 during the first quarter of 2017. Crown Castle’s tower business continues to see steady levels of activity in 2017. Crown Castle’s cell tower revenues grew approximately 7% or 58 million dollars from the first quarter of 2016.
SBA: During the first quarter of 2017, SBA purchased 90 cell tower sites for $28.2 million in cash. SBA also built 58 towers during the first quarter of 2017. As of March 31, 2017, SBA owned or operated 26,284 cell sites. In addition, the SBA spent $15.9 million to purchase land and easements and to extend cell tower lease terms.