How Do I Get A Cell Tower On My Property?
We receive the question of “How do I get a cell tower on my property?” every day. Unfortunately there is nothing we or any other company can do to help bring you a cell tower tenant. Still it is important for you to know how the cell tower development industry works to help save you some time on your search.
Simply put: “They find you, you don’t find them“. Wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, pretty much have their pick of properties when it comes to choosing a new location for a cell tower. We don’t have any scientific data or a survey to point to, but if we had to guess we would say 8 out of 10 property owners, if propositioned, would want a cell tower on their property. Since there is what would seem as a large supply of properties available to the carriers, soliciting carriers in the reverse is simply a waste of time. You would need to have the perfect property, that meets their exact coverage needs and objectives, at that exact moment in time. Your time is better spent on other endeavors.
How Do Carriers Identify Properties Of Interest?
It all starts with the Radio Frequency (“RF”) Engineer. RF Engineers determine gaps or weak areas of wireless coverage that need to be covered due to increasing wireless demand. From there a budget is approved within the carrier for either new site construction or upgrades of existing towers. The carrier then engages vendors known as Site Acquisition Agents (“Site Aq”) to assist their RF Engineers in identifying properties with acceptable land use and to help find property owners that are willing to lease space to the carrier (which is typically easy). The Site Aq Agents create what is known as a “Search Ring” to present up to three candidates to the carrier to review. A primary candidate is chosen and the Site Aq agent reaches out to the property owner to strike a deal. Unfortunately we review leases of deals struck well below market and with too many rights given away to the carrier often because the property owner did not use professional consultation. That’s where we come in to help secure you the best deal.
What’s The Process Once Contacted?
Typically the Site Aq Agent will request a Letter Of Authorization (“LOA”) so they may apply for a permit from the local jurisdiction. Depending on your jurisdiction and potentially community feedback the response time on receiving a permit could be a few months to a few years. Every jurisdiction and project is unique and different. During that time we help you to negotiate lease terms and to secure favorable rights in any agreement with the carrier.
A Company Is Telling Me They Will Market My Property, Thoughts?
We have reviewed many “marketing agreements” on behalf of our clients and we have never read one that we recommended, not one. Why? The industry as we mentioned above doesn’t find new locations for cell towers, or cell sites, through companies that are “marketing” properties. It’s just not how the industry works. If we could match make site owners with cell towers across the nation that would be our core business and we would do absolutely nothing else, but in reality that’s just not how the industry operates. There is no online database, company, or agreement that will get you, the property owner, a step closer to securing a new cell tower on your property. In fact, we strongly caution you to have any marketing agreements reviewed by a knowledgeable cell tower attorney since many of the agreements we have reviewed are not in the best interest of the property owner.
What If I Send You My Address?
Please do not contact us with your address if you are solely looking for a new cell tower on your property. We cannot add value to you with that request and therefor we will not respond.
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About Nick G. Foster
Since founding Airwave Advisors® in 2014, Mr. Foster has added value to over 400 clients ranging from the State of Nevada, City of Beverly Hills, to Habitat For Humanity. Mr. Foster focuses on cell tower lease renewals, buyouts, new lease negotiation, and cell site lease management. Prior to starting Airwave Advisors® Mr. Foster founded and led the Cell Site Services Group within nationwide commercial real estate services leader Cassidy Turley (now known as Cushman & Wakefield).