Thinking of Your Tower Site As An Asset To Maximize

Neal Terracciano is a Site Development Officer in the Southern Region

Many site owners consider their tower rental income as “just found money” and don’t give it another thought. The cell tower market is complex, from a technology standpoint as well as legally and financially. Many individuals and organizations don’t have the knowledge, time or energy to do anything but happily accept the situation as is.  If you are one of these people, you are making a big mistake. Your income stream could be at risk and you may well be leaving significant money on the table.

Don’t Get Broadsided by Risk

Make sure you know where you stand today. The number of issues that may apply to you is practically infinite, but could include things as diverse as:

  • What technologies are on your site by what companies? What is the future outlook for each?
  • What competitive technologies and company equipment is installed on nearby properties?
  • Have you received rent reduction proposals? Do they have rent guarantees and lock-in periods? Do they mention potential tower decommissioning?
  • What are the early termination terms?
  • What tenants are on your tower? What is each tenant’s market outlook?
  • Does the eminence of market consolidation threaten your lease’s longevity?

Make Sure You Maximize Income

If you have an active tower site, you may have an asset that is valuable to other tenants.

  • What alternatives do you have to an ongoing lease? What should you look for in a buy-out?
  • What changes might be possible in your current lease to optimize it?
  • What additional tenants might be interested in your site?
  • How can you promote your property to additional tenants?
  • Is there a true upside potential for you if another tenant does co-locate?

Put Together a Team of Advisors

Passively accepting your “found money” means you could be receiving less income while being exposed to higher risk. Have a lawyer look at your current lease. Better yet, reach out to industry advisors like Unison. Reputable industry experts, together with your lawyer and financial advisors can give you the heads up on the risks and watch-outs specific to your situation. Putting in just a little time with an expert team could bring you huge long-term financial benefits.  Your site is more than a mere income stream. It is an asset that can truly perform.

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