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    AMERICAN TOWER LEASE EXTENSIONS

    If you are one of the thousands of property owners who have recently been contacted by American Tower Corporation to renegotiate or extend a cell tower lease, you undoubtedly have many questions and concerns. In 2019, American Tower has been aggressively trying those leases that are under their average lease term remaining of 28 years.  If your lease has less than 20 years remaining, don’t be surprised if American Tower contacts you and wants to extend their ground lease.

    Once you’ve been contacted, American Tower may pressure you for an immediate response, attempting to force you into making an uninformed decision. They will offer an attractive signing bonus with minimal or no rent increase. That’s exactly why you need Steel in the Air – we have the experience and expertise necessary to help protect your best interests when negotiating an American Tower lease.

    We know how to review proposals from American Tower and have the data from 15 years of working with 3,500 landowners to know good ones from bad ones.
    Be aware that American Tower’s ability to generate income is contingent upon having a legal entitlement to the ground underneath the cell tower, whether it is a lease agreement or a perpetual easement. Without the lease, their tower is worthless and they lose the income from their cellular tenants.

    WITH STEEL IN THE AIR YOU WILL GET PEACE OF MIND. WE HAVE THE ANSWERS YOU NEED.

    If you have been contacted by American Tower, ask yourself the following questions:

    • What’s the bottom line benefit of extending the lease?
    • Is the extension one-sided? In other words, if you extend the time during which they can use your property, does that mean American Tower is extending their commitment to continue the lease as well?
    • Are there other companies that would pay more to purchase my cell tower lease?
    • What is the potential upside to negotiating my American Tower cell tower lease extension?
    • Is there any advantage to delay extending the lease? Would American Tower be more aggressive in its pricing as we get closer to the cell tower lease expiration?
    • Would American Tower choose to relocate the tower if you choose not to extend?
    We will work to determine the true value of an American Tower lease extension – either in increased rent or a large signing bonus (or both).
    You should also be aware that American Tower might try to persuade you to simply sell them the lease outright, because it is far cheaper for them in the long run. Don’t make that decision without consulting Steel in the Air first!
    Don’t be lulled into thinking you can simply contact other tower owners to see what their American Tower lease is worth at renewal. Existing tower leases are typically worth far more than new proposed leases. That’s because when the tower company searched for the cell site originally, they had other options of land where they could lease and could negotiate with one landowner against another. Furthermore, the removal of an existing tower and rebuilding of a new one can be extremely expensive. We can share with you what that cost is to American Tower and how that translates to your bottom line.

    Check out our Increase in Lease chart to see what the difference just $100/mo in increased lease rate means over time.

    1. If you have received an offer to buy your cell tower lease, then contact us before you enter into an American Tower lease. Other offers might be available that you should consider before agreeing to anything.
    2. If your lease is set to expire, please see our page on Negotiating Expiring Leases that includes a detailed explanation of our process on how we evaluate leases that are near their expiration.
    3. Disclaimer: Steel in the Air, Inc is not affiliated with American Tower Corporation (AMT). If you are looking for AMT’s website, please visit www.americantower.com. American Tower and AMT are registered trademarks of American Tower Corporation.
    INSIDER TIPS
    1. When considering a lease extension offer, you should first check the expiration date (which is not the same as the renewal date). If you have more than twenty years remaining on your lease, it’s probably best to leave well enough alone. Why? Because leases are typically valued higher the closer they are to expiration.
    2. Tower companies often prefer to purchase leases outright in order to further diversify their portfolio of assets; however, they are not the only companies out there who are interested in buying cellular leases. Buyout companies do it for profit alone. The motivation of the buyer may or may not be of interest to you, but it will likely affect their final offer.
    3. One trick they are using to encourage landowners to sign lease extensions is to offer larger signing bonuses than they have in the past. They do this because not all landowners are savvy on the concept of present value. The present value of the future increased lease payments that you forego by accepting the signing bonus is worth more today in most cases than what they are offering as a signing bonus. In other words, while the signing bonus looks good initially, over time what you could get from an increased lease rate is worth more.

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