How to Lease Land for a Cell Tower?

Leasing land to a cell tower company is a great opportunity to earn a significant amount of money over a considerable time period, but it is not that easy to accomplish.

What Are Cell Phone Companies Looking For?

First of all, you should know that not every property is suitable for hosting a cell tower. There are certain conditions that have to be met, most of all as far as the location and the terrain (especially height) are concerned.
If your property is not suitable for such purposes, you will not be able to lease it, no matter how hard you are trying to market it. If you owned a telecommunications business, you would certainly not waste money on leasing land and building cell towers that are not efficient.
Such companies have specific regions where they are looking for available land, according to their needs. They call these areas “search rings”.
However, due to the cell phone networking growth, these “search rings” are also constantly expanding. Telecommunication companies send evaluation teams to look for new land every year. They usually make their choices based on long term needs. A location that may seem useless right now could be very valuable for their network in the future.
But it is difficult to predict the “search rings” expansion regions for the upcoming years, since, usually, neither the companies can do it.
Basically, if you own some property in some less populated area and on a high hill, it is very likely to get cell operators’ attention.
The most common method to get a leasing contract is to receive a visit from a company’s site acquisition agent. He will tell you that the company is interested in your land and ask you whether you are interested or not.
Keep in mind that you may face some competition, especially if you have many neighbors in the same interest area.

How to Increase Your Land’s Attractiveness?
Are there effective ways to draw the cell providers’ attention towards your property?
Here are some useful tips:

  • Increase your land’s visibility installing a sign by the closest road or at your fence or gate, with your contact data (phone number, e-mail, if you wish). This way, when the agents sent by wireless providers reach that area, they are much more likely to contact you in the first place.
  • Get information – Pay attention to all information regarding possible cell tower developments in your area. When new towers are built, go to hearings, where you may get to speak with companies’ agents. It would be even better to get some inside information, i.e. to have some contacts in at least one company.
  • Become member of dedicated associations – Cellular Site Landowners Association and other such groups offer you the possibility of getting useful information on recent developments or advice on negotiating your leasing contract.
  • Be patient – Lots of cell towers are being built every year, but this also means that it may take some time before somebody is interested in your region.
  • Stay connected to wireless providers – While there is no need to insist, since such companies have their own selection criteria and lots of options to choose from, contacting them, let’s say, twice a year, does no harm. Ask them if there is a current interest in your area.
  • Be cautious – There are people offering “site listing services” that should make your property more visible to wireless providers. They usually do not work, so you should not waste money on them. If you really want to do it, ask providers if they are really connected to those enterprises.
  • Beware of scams – Check out dedicated associations or Internet forums to see which offers are real and which are scams.