(updated May 13, 2020)
Who Is MD7 and Blvckdot?
MD7 was founded in 2003 as a service provider to wireless carriers in the United States. Over time they expanded their services outside the United States. Prior to starting MD7 their principals had a background in site acquisition servicing wireless carriers deployment needs.
Blvckdot (previously known as Blackdot Capital, and before that previously known as Blackdot Wireless) has a similar business model as MD7. Cell phone carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, engage third-party companies such as MD7 and Black Dot to renegotiate the terms of their current cell tower leases. Tower companies such as Crown Castle and American Tower Corporation have also been known to hire these companies.
They call their programs “Rent Optimization“. What that really means is money out of your pocket and in to the pocket of your multi-billionaire tenant. They are hired by cell phone carriers to try to “optimize” also know as “decrease” the rent you receive from your tenant. Rent that some private landlords and non-profit organizations such as churches depend on.
Nick Foster of Airwave Advisors provided tremendous value in helping us better understand our cell tower lease. We can say first-hand that Nick does a great job in not only advising us landlords on the lease agreement but also in leading us to a position to obtain positive results.
Greg F. Esq., Board Chair, Sacramento Adventist Academy
How Does Their Pitch Work?
Typically they start by calling you or sending you a letter presenting evidence that they are an authorized agent for the cell phone carrier they represent. In the letter it states that they would like to discuss amending or renewing your lease agreement.
Often they will point to the Termination clause in your lease agreement which typically states that the tenant may terminate within a thirty (30) or sixty (60) day notice. They may then say their client is evaluating their network and your site has been identified as a high rent site or that your site is at risk for site overlap. No matter what their message is it almost always ends the same, “Your site is at risk of termination”.
Is your site really at risk for termination?
It is extremely unlikely. The only way to know for sure, and to sleep well at night, is to have an cell tower lease expert such as Airwave Advisors review your cell tower lease today.
What Are You Currently Seeing With MD7?
A the beginning of 2020 we started receiving many calls and e-mails from clients who have received letters from MD7. The letters were in connection with our client’s American Tower Lease. We wrote an article covering this letter in detail that you can read here, MD7 American Tower Letter | How Should You Respond?
Back in 2014, our clients have received Nextel decommission letters and AT&T lease renewal and buyout letters from MD7. The Nextel decommission letters were drafted as such that they present a huge liability for the landlord.
To learn more about the Nextel decommission read our blog post, “Tips With Your Nextel Decommission“.
The AT&T lease renewal letters are also not in the landlords best interest. Always remember that these companies are not looking out for your best interest, they are hired guns looking out for the best interest of their client, your tenant.
What Are You Currently Seeing With Blvckdot?
We are currently seeing Blvckdot representing AT&T on some lease renewals in the United States.
Previously in 2015, Blvckdot (then known as Blackdot Wireless) reached out to our clients as a representative for Cricket Wireless. In the communication we received, Blvckdot was asking for permission to leave Cricket Wireless equipment on our client’s property. In exchange for allowing Cricket Wireless to abandon their equipment on the property, the property owner will receive a one-time payment. However, like the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Why did Cricket Wireless want to abandon their equipment?
There are two simple answers on why Cricket Wireless wanted to abandon their equipment.
The first reason is by abandoning their equipment they reduce their costs to demolition and removal. It’s less costly to Cricket Wireless to write a property owner a check, than to hire crews to dismantle, remove, and dispose of the cell tower.
The second reason is their equipment no longer has any value, simply put, its junk. If a representative for Cricket Wireless tells you the antennas or equipment has any value, beware, it does not. If it did why would they want to abandon it? I remember walking a rooftop with a well-heeled commercial real estate owner who was happy he cut a deal with Nextel to leave the equipment on his property. He thought the equipment was plug-in-play. Unfortunately the reality is the equipment is now scrap metal left for him to clean up.
How Can Airwave Advisors Help Me?
Airwave Advisors has the strong wireless industry background and experience to help you make a truly informed decision. We can review your lease agreement, the cell tower or cell site on your property, and present to you the options the cell phone carrier may actually take should they truly want to terminate their lease with you. Usually MD7 or Black Dot’s message is a bluff, but it is important to run your lease and site by a cell tower lease expert such as Airwave Advisors just to make sure.
It’s important to engage a cell tower lease expert who serves landlords only never carriers to review any correspondence from MD7 or Blvckdot. Airwave Advisors is here to help you make the best decision with your cell tower lease.
Contacted By MD7 or Blvckdot?
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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).