Cell Tower Lease Rates – How Much Are Cell Towers Really Worth?
What Is A Cell Tower Lease?
A cell tower lease is an agreement between a tower company and a landowner or property manager allowing the cell tower company to install and maintain a tower for a specified number of years.
- Number of cell towers in the US in 2018 – over 338,000
- Average cost of building a cell phone tower – $175,000+
- Average yearly cell phone tower lease rate – $45,000+
- Lowest annual cost to lease a cell tower – $100
- Wireless carriers added over 15,000 cell sites in 2018
As you can see, there are a lot of cell phone towers & sites in use across the US, and the lease rates vary greatly — from well over $45,000 per year to only $100 per year.
We Are Just Like You – We All Had Questions About Cell Tower Leases.
Vertical Consultants Provided More Than Answers. They Got Us Results!
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.
Vertical Consultants: “They are your cell tower lease experts.”
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 $465,000,000 in cell tower rent.
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Do You See The Difference In These Towers?
It’s the same tower. The only difference is a 300% increase in rent.
The Moral of The Two Towers
Even though things look alike, the difference in results can be huge. The telecom industry is a multibillion dollar machine & the infrastructure is built on property owners’ land. Property owners have more leverage than they realize.
If you’re trying to determine value, you may start looking for comparable cell tower lease rates. The problem is that typical cell phone tower lease rates in your area may not matter at all, and could lead you down the wrong path. The reality is that a cell tower company may pay more for the use of your land than you think.
A cell tower company will gladly tell you what they are paying other property owners in your area if it’s beneficial for them to do so, which it often is.
As a property owner, if you rely on figures, like your neighbor’s cell tower lease rate, you may be cheating yourself out of revenue. How? Because relying on “comps” can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of a cell tower lease.
Every cell tower site has a different value. Caleb learned this firsthand.
“Our school district has a cell tower that’s been under lease for a number of years and we recently received an offer to buy that lease for a substantial amount of money.
They compared our tower’s value against other properties in the market, but we knew that every tower has its own value, and we weren’t sure they were giving us a fair estimate of our value. Vertical Consultants took over all negotiations and increased our monthly rent immediately.”
What Is The True Value Of Your Property?
We will not only provide you expert consultation — we will work with you throughout the entire lease transaction, and we only benefit if you benefit. In fact, that’s our motto. We’re that confident in the services we provide.
Lease Rate FAQs
Like any basic negotiation, price is determined by supply and demand. Here is what you need to know to make sure you are optimizing the value of your site.
Rent rates trend higher in more populated areas, some urban areas command completely different lease rates, even though they are similar in demographics, however, this not the only factor.
Zoning and permitting requirements play a very important factor in the value of a site. The more liberal the permitting standard, the easier it is to find several sites that meet a cell phone carrier or tower company’s criteria.
Subsequently, a cell phone carrier/tower company will need to pay more for a lease in an area that has more stringent standards than it would in one that has more lax standards, no matter the population of the area.
Construction Limitations – A site acquisition agent will conclude both if a site has suitable access and space necessary for construction of a tower. An optimal site will have level terrain, with minimal or no ground or airwave obstructions (i.e. tree cover); as the more obstacles, the more expensive it is for a tower company to construct on a site.
A tower company/carrier will sometimes be willing to pay higher rent for a more suitable site, in order to avoid more expensive construction costs on a similar site. We have experts on hand who have built hundreds of sites, so we are capable of assessing what the cost will be for the construction of a tower on your property.
Other Factors That Influence Rates
The cell tower companies who contact a property owner may think that they have the benefit of knowing all of their options. The agent has reviewed the below factors in selecting your property, along with reviewing your actual site.
Vertical Consultants can review the same information that a site acquisition agent is looking at and can level the playing field by being able to help you determine what an acceptable market rent rate should be for your cell tower lease.
Zoning/Permitting Restrictions – Prior to a cell phone carrier/tower company getting approval to build on a site, they must first get a conditional use permit or special use permit to construct their facility. Most local governments have permitting requirements that will establish parameters on where a tower may be constructed; therefore, one property may be able to skate through the approval process, while other very similar properties in the same immediate area may not.
What does this mean for you as a property owner? If your property is one that works, you may be able to ask for more rent than you think. We can perform the due diligence to see what options a tower company/cell phone carrier may have so you can take advantage of that information.
Access to Power and Telephone Service
Access to Power and Telephone Service – All tower locations need utility and telephone service. As a result, the farther the distance to telephone service and power, the higher the price tag to the cell tower developer. So, a site acquisition agent will always factor this in what they can pay for rent.
Ground Elevation – Elevation is important, but not the most important factor by far, as cost will always outweigh elevation. If you have the highest point in the city or county, that is not a guarantee you will be chosen. The cell phone carrier/tower company always has the option to build a taller cell tower at a lower evaluation, as it may be extremely expensive at the end of the day.
Cell Tower Site Alternatives
Cell Tower Site Alternatives – All cell phone carriers build tower sites to fit inside their network. Cell towers are very similar to pieces of a puzzle that, at the end of the day, have to fit together. The cell towers are set up to “transfer traffic” from one cell tower to the other. The cell phone carriers have an exact “search ring” that they use when constructing a cell tower, so that it will be able to easily transfer phone traffic.
These search ring areas can be as small as .25 mile to as large as 5 miles. We can work with you to determine what alternatives a cell phone carrier/tower company may have, as this will give you the information you need to optimize the value of your property.
Why Hire A Consultant To Fight For You?
We have over 50 years of combined experience as insiders at AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mobile.
When you hire us to fight for you, we get results.
- A Better Offer
- Our clients on average get a 305% increase in rent.
- More Money For Years To Come
- We fight for valuable rent increases.
- Protect Your Land & Your Rights
- Many property owners are suprised when they find out how much control they’ve given up on their land.
What We 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 negotiations.
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.
Get 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 2018, we immediately increased rents for our clients by an average of 305%. Its simple, we do more than give advice, we get results!!
The Art Of The Cell Tower Deal
To get the best deal possible, you need to re-think how you view the relationship.
Get the lease you deserve.
As a land owner, you have more power than you realize. Try not to look at this as someone leasing your land. Instead, look at this as a utility lease.
Let’s substitute the name Verizon with the name Exxon.
If Exxon came out to your house & said I’ll give you $500/month for this piece of land & I get to keep all the oil & all of the profits from that oil — you’d laugh & tell them to come back with a real offer. No one agrees to that deal.
The only difference is that oil company is pulling value from under your land, and the cell tower company is pulling value from the sky above.
Don’t Follow The Market. Lead It.
You don’t want to major in the minors, and we don’t want you to get taken advantage of, or settle for a bad deal. You have something the cell tower company needs – your property. The value is on your end, and no matter what they say, you’re in a position of power here.
While it is important to understand how much rent you are going to get paid on day one, it is more important to know how to structure a lease to make sure you are paid fairly on day two, three and so forth.
Rent is not a financial structure…it is only the result of it.
In 2018, the largest cell tower companies generated an average of over $3 billion each in yearly revenues from subletting properties like yours. As a property owner, you have a choice: be under-compensated for your land or get the cell tower lease you deserve.
A wave has been happening in the industry for years, which is that tower companies used to rely on lack of information & representation. With the internet, the information is out there in pieces but people don’t know what to do with it. The tower companies also see that information on the internet & they have 10 counters to everything you say.
The key is knowing how to navigate the counters & negotiations. It’s like my dad used to say, “You can give someone a boat but it doesn’t mean they know how to navigate the ocean.”
We Get Results!
$465,000,000 in Rent Secured for Our Clients
305% Immediate Increase in Rent in 2018
$150,000,000 in Cell Site Buyout Deals Completed
Has a cell tower company like Crown Castle, American Tower, AT&T, Verizon, or SBA contacted you about installing a cell tower on your roof or grounds?
It can be a wonderfully exciting time after a cell tower company contacts you about installing a cell tower on your property. It can also be a little daunting and overwhelming, when looking over the contract they offer and deciding how to negotiate on your property’s behalf.
Sarah has been where you are.
“We were contacted by Branch Towers about placing a tower on our property.”
“We ended up with a brand new lease worth more than double their offer. It includes guaranteed extensions and increases and also guarantees that we receive additional rent if they add to the tower.”
Why She Recommends Vertical Consultants
“You need to have someone on your side. Even our tower company, Branch Towers, said it was the best deal anyone had ever made with them.
Hugh was very genuine. Everything they told me has come true.”
Prior to a new tower lease, properties are evaluated for cell site suitability. Then it goes to the acquisition stage, where an agent of the cell tower company will typically have a low-ball starting lease rate in mind that they offer to you, the property owner. The agent works for the cell tower company, and getting the cell tower company the best deal possible – not you – is their top priority.
While our competitors will tell you, “We can’t guarantee that you will get a better lease as a result of using our services” — we can guarantee that you will.
We work on your behalf to make sure that get the best deal possible for now, and for the future of your property.
Only renew a cell tower lease if you have a great extension offer.
Cell tower lease extension requests are offers by cell tower companies to property owners to extend an existing cell tower lease by up to 50 additional years.
Signing the wrong deal will mean missed financial opportunity and hazards to you and your property. We’re here to help you get the absolute best deal you can.
Russel got over 300% more rent.
“A money-grabber went out to my grandmother’s property when she was 80-something years old and cut her rent down to half of what she was getting. He threatened she could lose the tower if she didn’t take the reduced rent.
After I inherited the lease, I knew I had to be proactive about getting a better deal.”
“We ended up with 3 times more rent and now get a yearly increase. Vertical Consultants also negotiated that if someone else is added to the tower, I get compensated. My grandmother didn’t have that on her lease and missed out on extra income.”
It is crucial that you know the “True Value” of your cell tower before acting.
Our clients averaged an immediate 305% increase in rent last year.
Imagine that for the next 50 years!
Optimizing the value of your lease is the most important thing you can do.
Consider this: If someone knocked on your door today and asked to buy your house, but they only offered you a fraction of its value, how long would you carry on a discussion with them?
This happens every day, but instead of asking you to buy your house, they are asking to extend or buy your cell tower lease.
You would not sell your house without knowing the real value of it, so why would you enter any cell tower agreement without knowing what the true value of your cell site lease really is?
Don’t do a deal just to do a deal, do the right deal.
The renewal needs to be of value to you. Remember, you have something the cell tower companies want; it’s not the other way around.
A cell tower lease buyout is when a company pays a property owner a lump sum for the right to future cell tower rents.
What you, the property owner, need to understand is what the “Real Value” of your cell tower lease is before you agree to any buyout deal. The wrong lease buyout deal can cost you money and possibly devalue your property.
Think about it like this: What is one of the most powerful ways to sell something to someone? You tell them if they don’t do it, they are going to lose something they already have.
We all make poor decisions when we feel like we have to do something. If someone came to your house today & said I’ll pay you 1/10th of the value of it, but you have to act now — would you feel like you have to do it? Only if you had no other options.
Every day around the United States, property owners are contacted by companies leasing their land, or companies looking to buy their lease.
These companies will eventually get to the point in the conversation where they bring up changing technology in the industry, alternative properties they can move the cell tower site to, or even that they just can’t afford the cell site unless you lower rents or sell them the lease.
They are non-discriminatory. They will use the same uncertainty and fear tactics whether you are a large company, small church, or you’re an individual that relies on the cell tower revenue to pay some bills.
They will tell you all that is wrong with your cell tower site, but then let you know that all is not lost – that they are here to save you, even if it costs them.
Our advice – beware of someone holding a match in one hand and a fire hose in the other.
Shanita got a 1200% increase for her church.
“I’m a project manager & I’m very comfortable in negotiations; however, I told the pastor, I would be doing the church a disservice if I tried to negotiate this deal myself. If you can’t do it, you find the expert who can and that was Vertical Consultants.”
“We got 12 times more for our lease. We’re talking about a huge difference.”
Why She Recommend Vertical Consultants
“I recommend Vertical Consultants because of their leadership, expertise, & customer service — and because the results speak for themselves.”
I Have A Cell Tower Lease Buyout Offer, Now What?
The first thing you should ask yourself is: what is your bargaining power? If you are currently leasing space to a cell tower company or cell phone company, more than likely you have been contacted by a private company like: American Tower, Wireless Capital Partners, Unison, AP Wireless, or other similar companies looking to buy your cell tower lease.
You are most likely asking yourself, “Why are these companies contacting me?” and “Why won’t they stop calling?” Let us shed some light on that for you.
Are you ready to get the most out of your cell tower lease?
Join thousands of clients who have earned over $465,000,000 in rent.