Top Ten Reasons To Hire Tower Seekers
The options for cell tower landlords seeking advice and representation have never been better. In the past seven years since Tower Seekers started, we have seen the number of landlord consultants, agents, and attorneys grow significantly. This is indeed good news for landlords who previously relied on themselves or unqualified advisors for help. How do I know? I have seen many of the leases signed prior to 2005 that were poorly drafted. While the quantity and quality of landlord advisors has improved, most are limited in the types of services they offer.
Tower Seekers is different. Here’s how:
1. This is our ministry. We know of no other local organization that has a cell tower ministry. Our mission is to help our church and non-profit clients get cell site leases and make the most of them. As believers and servants in our own churches, we understand the issues our clients face. These issues differ from regular business or property owners. We also know that decisions about long-term leases have special significance to our client.
2. Cost savings / added value. We believe too much emphasis is given to the rent paid by tenants in cell siteMost consultants focus on how much rent was negotiated in a lease, renewal, or extension. All consultants worth their salt can negotiate higher rent amounts. While rent is a key method of evaluating a consultant’s value, we prefer to measure our clients’ success in ways beyond rent. One simple way is to calculate what value we add to the client by helping them avoid unnecessary costs such as paying legal fees and higher taxes. We also add value by limiting our clients’ need to be involved in the day-to-day process. We tee up key decision for prayer and consideration by the client. Our clients tell us the value Tower Seekers brings is outstanding especially when paid on a commission basis.
3. Level the playing field. The majority of cell site landlords are not represented by a professional but EVERY tenant is. Tenants are always represented by specialists giving them a huge advantage over most landlords. Tower Seekers job is to make sure our landlord clients know the truth about the process and the advantages and disadvantages. Our representation combines the California legal expertise, the real estate knowledge and extensive telecommunication industry experience in one local company.
4. Exclusive landlord advocates. We are not limited or conflicted by affiliations with cell company tenants or their vendors. Many competitors offering landlord representation also have contracts with the telecom firms. This fact is rarely disclosed. To us, this is wrong on many levels. We will always be loyal and zealous representatives for landlords exclusively.
5. Local knowledge and experience. We know many of the real estate managers for the cell companies based here in Southern California. Perhaps more importantly, we know the vendors hired by the cell company real estate managers. We do business every day on behalf of our client with the site acquisition firms, architects, zoning professionals, engineers and construction companies working for the telecom giants. We have also lived in this area for almost 50 years so we know it well. After all, a wireless communications site lease is a commercial real estate transaction. Landlords need a local expert. So-called site management companies and lease advisors may have ulterior motives (e.g. lease buyout) that do not involve helping landlords.
6. California landlord-tenant law. Leases in California are subject to the law in California. In our state, the landlord-tenant law is codified in the California Code. According to the Code, representation of landlords in lease matters for compensation, one must be licensed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). To give legal advice, one must be licensed by the California State Bar. Tower Seekers founder, Mike Ritter, is licensed both as a California attorney and real estate broker and Tod Hunnicutt holds a California real estate license. We know the law. Beware of unlicensed, out-of-state consultants offering advice about cell site leases here in California.
7. In-person and on-site. As we have said, all tenants are represented in every lease. In fact, they have multiple representatives specializing in things like lease negotiation, zoning approval, architecture, construction, and law. In nearly every case, the tenant’s representative is local to the site and present on the site during the process. Tower Seekers is the only company offering the same in-person on-site representation to landlords. It is impossible to be effective on a California cell tower site project from Florida or Tennessee.
8. Site management vs. mere consulting. Our competitors offer only consulting which is why they say they can do business in California without a real estate license. Tower Seekers offers site management which encompasses the full range of services similar to a property manager. Negotiating the lease well is important but it is only one of many keys to being a successful cell tower landlord. Tower Seekers is much more than the “one-and-done” out-of-state consulting companies because we handle local matters for our landlords such as community relations, education for on-site school parents, attendance at zoning hearings, tower location and design help and site construction oversight. Ask any out-of-state consultant how many “site walks” they have done for their clients in California. The answer is “zero.”
9. Commission vs. hourly fee. Most of our work is done on commission which means we only get paid when our client is successful. Other companies only offer their services for high hourly fees. Tower Seekers works mostly with churches and non-profits that are not in a position to pay out-of-pocket. To our knowledge, we’re the only landlord representative willing to work on commission, which is the standard procedure for real estate transactions in California.
10. Free consultation and lease evaluation. Every relationship with our client starts with a free consultation and lease review. We submit a written lease summary and evaluation and offer to meet to discuss details. Others charge by the hour just to look at your lease. We believe every landlord must know what’s in the lease and what issues are presented but we believe this service should be free of charge.