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  • How to choose the best Cell Tower Consultant for you

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    If you are a Cell Tower landlord, at some point you will have probably been approached by a Cell Phone wireless carrier. Often, this is to discuss or make changes to your cell tower lease agreement.

     

    Cell Tower Consultants are there to help you negotiate every step of the way by educating you on the financial, legal and development aspects of the contract. They help to ensure that you get the very best terms for cell tower lease rates and protection for your assets and rights.

     

    So what is meant by protection exactly? These may include your access rights, the safety of the property, which could lead to potential harm, insurance, property rights, maintenance, surrounding traffic and noise. Wireless carriers can lower the value of your lease and property without your knowledge. It is easy to overlook issues that may appear straightforward enough but can be detrimental to you as a landlord.

     

    Below are some of the financial implications weak negotiating can cause.

     

    Contract terminations

     

    One overlooked financial issue would be the implications of a contract with a long duration. A 30-year contract you may have agreed upon will most likely have a termination clause. With this clause, either the wireless carrier or the cell tower company can exit the contract at short notice, keeping you stuck in the contract. 

     

    In a Cell tower lease contract, Wireless carriers may negotiate to have far more space than actually necessary to install their equipment. Carriers allowed extra property space would enable them to install equipment on your property regardless of its size, appearance or location decreasing property value. 

     

    Wireless carrier equipment should not negatively affect the property’s value. Hiring a good consultant will help you understand all installations or modifications in advance, so you have the choice to agree or disagree. A decrease in property value can also occur by unsightly structures and rooftop installations left by the wireless carrier should they decide to go.

     

    All Wireless carriers mainly try to negotiate the best possible deal for themselves with their staff of professionals. Hiring a consultant who is fully aware of all industry guidelines and has expertise in wireless technology and leasing knowledge will even up the playing field for negotiations. So now we know the importance of a consultant it can be quite daunting to find a suitable one. After all, what are the criteria exactly?

     

    Below are recommendations to find your ideal Cell Tower Consultant.

     

    Up to date Cellphone company knowledge 

     

    A consultant who has up to date knowledge of the cell phone company you are currently in negotiations with would be far more eligible than one with no knowledge at all. If the Consultant has recently worked with the company, he or she will be aware of their usual lease terms, rates and services they provide. 

     

    Wireless carriers can be cunning in negotiations, gaining as much leverage as possible under your very nose. The leverage gained, for example, would be the wireless tenant exercising The Right of First Refusal (ROFR)  clause.ROFR allows the wireless tenant or Cellphone tower owner to match or exceed attempted offers by potential buyers of your property and land. 

    This clause quickly becomes a deterrent to all potential buyers who wish to make a serious offer, making it disadvantageous when the landlord decides to sell. A consultant who has worked with the company before will anticipate this in contract negotiations.

     

    Credentials and Clients

     

    Do not be afraid to ask the Consultant who was their clientele in the past; these should include the institutions and real estate owners. If a consultant has your best intentions in mind, he or she should gladly provide you with references. Good references ensure that the Consultant can provide a service that is of a high standard.

     

    References also give an overview of their actual results when it comes to maximizing clientele revenue. Depending on what you want will determine what exactly to look for in a consultant. Do you wish to increase rent or sell your tower lease? Look at their previous results, be cautious of figures that seem too good to be true, i.e. rent increases of 500%. Employ a consultant who will give you realistic expectations whether it’d be for your rent increases or cell tower lease buyouts

     

    Consultant proposal and fee

     

    Leasing your space for a cell phone tower can be a great money maker, but before you seriously consider working with a Consultant always discuss his fees.

    Would you agree if you had to pay 30% of your rent for the rest of the duration of the lease, which could take up to 30 years? Probably not.

    Discuss your payment plan thoroughly as different consultants will give you different options. When offering payment, you can employ a certain degree of flexibility.

     

     

    • Paying by the hour, so an estimate on how lengthy negotiations should take would help determine how much the total amount would be.
    • Payments or a payment based on performance; no results means no pay. 
    • Hybrid Fee Basis, combining both aspects based on time spent and results. 

     

    Consultant Insurance for your protection

     

    In any industry, a Consulting company should have Professional Liability insurance; the purpose of this is to protect both the Consultant and client. Bad losses resulting from negligence or errors from your Consultant is a real possibility since everyone is subject to human error. So make sure if something were to go wrong, your losses would be compensated fully by ensuring your Consultant is insured. 

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