MD7 American Tower Letter | How Should You Respond?

By Nick G. Foster

January 24, 2020

One of our clients received a letter dated January 23, 2020, from MD7 in PDF format signed by an employee of American Tower Corporation. The author of the file is listed as MD7 and the initial name of the letter was “ATT High Rent Initial Mailer”.

The strange thing is my client’s site is not a high-rent site.

In fact he is receiving $600.00 per month in rent. A rent amount largely considered by both the landlord and tenant side of the industry, as a below-market.

Below is the letter he received from MD7

MD7 American Tower Letter

So What Did They Offer The Landlord?

Reduce the rent to $300.00 per month, or sell the lease to them for forever in exchange for $82,000.00.

Really?

Talking out of both sides of ones mouth rarely works.

On one side of their mouth they are saying the sky is falling and they need to cut a tiny rent in half to secure savings of around $3,000.00 per a year. An amount of money that is so small that it won’t even show up on American Tower Corporation’s balance sheet. Keep in mind that American Tower Corporation maintains an average reported profit margin of 85% on their cell towers.

On the other side of their mouth their saying, while the sky is falling and things are bad for you the Landlord, we will make it all better by paying you a one-time payment equal to below market price of approximately 12 years’ worth of rent.

This is comparable to someone coming to your house to buy your home. When they arrive they tell you that your home is about to be wiped out by a hurricane, but they will buy it anyway for cheap!

So what are we supposed to do?

Our options are cut our rent from $600.00 per month to $300.00 per month so our tenant feels better, or sell our contract for a below-market price?

How about we don’t do anything.

Entertaining communication like this is a complete waste of time for a property owner.

Remember as a property owner if you are not receiving a benefit to enter into an agreement, then don’t do it. Don’t accept below market deals and don’t fall victim to this approach.

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4 Comments

  1. Adam on February 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Nick –

    One thing to add to this… We got this same letter last year, and MD7 called us. We told them not interested, and they insisted on us signing a “rejection” letter. In so many terms we told them to go pound sand, and that we would continue to operate under our current lease agreement. No rejection letter needed.

    • Nick G. Foster on February 4, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      Adam,

      Great point and excellent information to provide to our community. Thank you for the follow-up comment!

      Nick G. Foster

  2. Linda Higgins on February 3, 2020 at 9:53 am

    We got a letter from American Tower wanting to cut our lease in half. They are saying there is no one on our tower. We live in the country where our cell reception isn.t the greatest so I really can’t believe this is true. If we don’t agree they say they may have to terminate the lease. We are going to tell go ahead and take the tower down because we are not falling for this.

    • Nick G. Foster on February 3, 2020 at 10:04 am

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with American Tower Corporation. To verify if there are any tenants on the tower, you can take photos of the cell tower itself, the ground equipment near the cell tower, and e-mail the photos to us for your review. We can confirm if you have any tenants on your cell tower, or if it is truly vacant.

      In regards to tearing the tower down if you do not cut the rent in half. I have never heard of American Tower Corporation following through and tearing the tower down. I have certainly heard of this presentation to landlords, but I have never heard of them following through on what they are saying here.

      All the best,

      Nick G. Foster

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Nick Foster Airwave Advisors

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).