By Tod Hunnicutt
When a property owner becomes a landlord for a cell site, the landlord has now become a very popular target to the lease buyout industry. The new landlord has just finished the battle of site lease negotiations and site construction. Now the new landlord is faced with repeated phone calls and letters offering great sums of money for their new lease that has just become a very valuable asset. Long time landlords are also receiving these same calls and letters but now may be ignoring the opportunity they may have. This article provides information on different types of companies that want to buy a landlord’s cell site lease and what a landlord needs to look forwhen considering a sale.
If a landlord is motivated to look at selling their lease, the terms, financial options, and the legalese can be significantly more complicated than the carrier’s original lease. The tower companies such as Crown Castle, American Tower, and SBA emerged into this area a few years ago and are infamous for their increasingly complex buyout documents. For example, some documents contain restrictions on how the landlord manages the rest of their own property. They may offer a higher purchase price, but is it worth the property rights the landlord is selling? This situation poses a very important question and a landlord should seek a professional consultation.
Other type of buyout companies are frequently referred to as “aggregators”. The aggregators of the industry are less interested in managing the landlord’s property. They may offer less of a purchase price than the tower companies but the landlord maintains their appropriate property rights. Aggregator’s purchase agreements also tend to be simpler and shorter.
Just to be clear, the motivations of any buyout company for completing a deal are monetarily based and the interests of the landlord are a distant last. They answer to their investors and are motivated by the quotas they need to meet in order to get commissions. Unfortunately, most of the companies out there offering consulting services to landlords do not always have the best interests of the landlord in mind either. If you decide to get consulting for a buyout opportunity, which I highly recommend, see if the person asks and consults on, “Why do you want to sell?”, and “Do you need to sell?” Every landlord’s situation is different and depending on the tenant on your property, staying with the monthly or yearly payments could be the best decision.
Every landlord interested in selling its lease should consider these three pieces of advice:(1) selling is not for every landlord and not always the best solution, (2) 95% of the time the pressure and urgency presented by the buyout companies to get the sale completed is not real and (3) seek consulting from a local industry professional that has your interests in mind..
With a combined 30 years in the industry, Tower Seekers has the expertise in buyouts and to meet all of your needs related to cell tower leases, renewals, and modifications.. We recommend a FREE yearly lease review and site audit to ensure tenants are in compliance.