- Why did Md7 contact me?
- What can Md7 do for me?
6 THINGS EVERY LANDLORD SHOULD KNOWAs with any business, it’s important to protect your interests and stay informed about good business practices. As operator-authorized real estate asset managers, one of the most important parts of our job is to use our expertise to help educate landlords about the wireless industry and answer questions about their cell site leases. We have built our business and reputation upon solid, long-term relationships with both landlords and operators. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to navigate the business of cell site leasing.
1. Always look for operator authorizationMd7 is a preferred real estate asset manager for top national wireless operators. The operators have asked us to contact their cell site landlords. We have letters of authorization that confirm this agreement, as well as permission from the operator to access your original lease so you can be sure that our statements are factual. Be cautious of individuals or groups who contact you about your lease but are not affiliated with the operator or authorized by them. They may present you with a lot of figures, but no hard facts about your lease. Any agreement you enter into with them could be harmful to your cell site rent or could compromise your relationship with the operator.
2. Beware of false claimsMany landlords complain about the daily calls they receive from individuals or groups who claim they can make the landlord more money on their cell site. These schemes often require the landlord to assign their lease to a third party. The landlord is paid less than market value for the lease assignment with the promise that the third party will market the site to additional operators and split future rents with the landlord. This is an empty promise, as operators do not find new sites like this. The best defense against losing your rental income is to always work with an authorized agent.
3. Take the time to read your leaseEverything you need to know about your cell site rent is recorded in your original lease with the service provider. Your rights as landlords and the operator’s rights as your tenant are right there in black and white. Still, many landlords don’t know what’s in their contract. When we contact landlords, we often spend time educating them about what’s in their lease. Rent, renewal and termination terms are detailed alongside terms for how the operator will maintain the site or make necessary repairs or upgrades. Make sure you keep the most updated version of your lease. As an authorized representative, Md7 can send you an electronic copy of your current lease to keep safe.
4. A good cell site lease is about more than the rentWith each generation of communications technology come new demands on service providers to keep their networks up to date. Protecting their investment in equipment as well as the proper function of their network is central to their business. That’s why lease terms are so important to an operator. Flexibility is important when it comes to terms like Expansion of Use & Premises and 24/7 Access. Wireless communications have become a vital part of our daily lives. People depend on their cell phones. Sacrificing the network to a problem site is not an option. That’s why operators appreciate landlords who keep the big picture in mind when it comes to structuring lease terms.
5. Keep your contact information currentIt’s important that the operator has the most up-to-date address and contact information for every landlord. Most importantly, they need to know how to reach you after hours if cell site access requires your help. Operators often maintain their network late at night to avoid down time. If a site needs repair at midnight, they don’t want to wait until 9 a.m. to service it, which would upset phone service during morning rush hour. It also becomes a safety issue if there’s a 3 a.m. emergency and the victim is unable to call 911 because the network is down. If your address or contact information changes, we recommend you notify the operator within 15 days.
6. Cell site leases are mutually beneficial partnershipsMost people don’t like change. It often makes them guarded—sometimes even adversarial. But thanks to continually changing technology, change is not only a reality; it’s a necessity in the telecommunications industry. In our conversations with tens of thousands of landlords about their cell site leases, we sometimes come across an “us-versus-them” mindset. The reality is that cell site leases are good for both the landlord and operator. Operators get the sites they need to run their network and landlords profit from the relationship. Operators are one of the best tenants a landlord can have. They are creditworthy, low-risk, low-maintenance occupants. They pay rent on otherwise wasted space. As a top-drawer tenant, operators add value to a landlord’s lease portfolio and can impact the landlord’s ability to financially leverage their property.