How to Get the Best Deal on Your Cell Tower Lease

Even though 92% of Americans own a cell phone, we’re still ranked 10 out of 25 for speed among major industrialized countries.

One of the reasons for this is that there aren’t enough cell towers where people need them the most. If you own a property, you might be approached by cell phone providers to see if you could sign a tower lease for holding a tower.

This is a great way to add some extra revenue to your business and balance out the taxes you’re paying on your property. By hosting a cell tower on your property, not only will you have access to the fastest speeds in your region, you’ll also be contributing to your community

If you’re thinking about signing a cell tower lease, you first need to learn about the different types of leases. Here are a few of the most common lease types you could be offered.

Ground Lease

The standard lease you’ll be provided with as a property owner will specify the amount of land given over to the cellular service provider. It will also specify how much access they will have to your land for construction, installation, and repair.

For a ground tower, companies will often request something as large as 100′ x 100′ lots for their tower. If you’ve got a smaller area, they can work with something as small as 15′ x 15′ depending on the type of tower they’re installing.

Lease Expansion

If service in your area takes a sudden spike or more people move into the area, this could require the company to build more to provide adequate service to everyone. They may approach the original contract looking for an expansion.

They will either expand or upgrade their equipment under terms set out by a new lease. They may also combine with another carrier to allow service space for their customers.

Additional Ground Space Lease

As service continues to grow and more people stream high bitrate videos, providers may need additional ground space. If you’ve had a good relationship with your tenant, you can grant them a second contract.

They will either create a larger tower or a second tower to account for the increased demand for service. With video becoming what 80% of users stream over various devices, demand is only going to increase.

Tower Co-Location

Another kind of lease will be created if your tenant has more space than they need. They could wish to provide space to another cell company on their existing tower.

You won’t be involved unless you own the tower or the carrier. Once towers are established, the tower lease owner is the one who determines who can place their transmitters there.

Rooftop Lease

If companies can’t afford a tower or there is no space, such as in urban environments, they may seek to add transmitters onto an existing structure. While this can be an actual rooftop of a building, it could be any tall structure from a signpost to a sculpture.

When there’s high population, cell providers need to think creatively. If you’re in pursuit of a tower lease, as a property owner, you should think of ways you can capitalize on this need.

How to Deal With Your Offers

Once you’ve figured out which type of lease you can provide to a cell provider, you need to know how to negotiate the terms. As the property owner, you have a lot of power. You’re in the position to say no because you have something the cell provider wants.

Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when negotiating

1. Don’t Take the First Offer

Companies will go through a middleman to negotiate the lease with you as the owner. Their pay is contingent on getting you to agree to a low price.

The first offer they give you will be the highest yield for the intermediary and will save the cell company the most money. If you know other owners in the area, ask them for advice. Otherwise, counter what you think any other commercial tenant should pay for that much space.

Check out this set of cell tower lease rates with comparable data to see what you could be earning with your lease.

2. A Tower Lease Is an Investment

Remember that once a carrier signs a lease with you, they can put transmitters from any other company they’d like. You’re leasing out space for cell carrier ts to make money, so be sure the number seems fair to you.

If this is an investment they’re sure to make money from, you shouldn’t be getting the short end of the stick. They’ll be sending a variety of service professionals onto you property who could do damage or create problems. Account for all the details.

3. Rent Should Inflate

During the leasing period, you could see your property taxes climb and demands on that tower increase. Your tenant should be paying an inflating rate like any other tenant would.

Don’t agree to a fixed rate for more than a few years. A rent escalator can get everyone on the same page and ensure you don’t lose out.

4. Make Boundaries Clear

Your carrier will try to expand and add more equipment than they’ve leased for. It happens all of the time and your lease could be no exception.

Be sure your clear with your terms and have a figure for how much extra your tenant will pay for each extra square foot.

A Cell Tower Lease Can be Welcome Revenue

While tenants will come and go on your property, you may find that a tower lease never lets you down. There will always be a need for towers for the foreseeable future and by providing land for a carrier, you’ll have a steady income stream to survive rough times.

If you’re ready to sign a cell tower lease for your property, contact us to make sure you get a great deal.