Many landowners are interested in learning how to lease their land for a cell tower. If you have not read the page on how wireless carriers choose which areas they are going to locate a tower in, please read it by clicking here.
There are a number of ways which land can be leased for a cell tower. By far the most common method is to have a site acquisition agent from the wireless carriers visit your land and ask if you are interested in leasing. This is discussed in previous articles.
Due to the money involved in a cell tower lease and the fact that almost everyone has heard of or knows someone with a cell tower on their property, many landowners simply assume that they can “request” a cell tower lease as well.
This is simply not the truth. Wireless companies WILL NOT build a cell tower on your property unless it fills a business need for them no matter how hard or how long you market it. So unless your property is in one of the areas (“search rings”) that a cell phone company is looking for land to lease, you are out of luck.
The good news is that these “search rings” are constantly changing and expanding. Every year, the carriers evaluate new areas in which they wish to provide service. What may not be a good location for a cell tower now may be a good location in the future. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing when these changes occur unless you either have a good relationship with the carrier or you learn that they are in your area by some rare chance. Even the wireless companies rarely know where their next year’s search rings will be.
So, what can you as a landowner do to increase your chances of being chosen?
1. Be Visible. Make sure that you have a sign on your property gate or fence by the nearest major road that states that you have land available for lease for a cell tower. Add your daytime phone number to the sign so that agents for the wireless companies have a good way to contact you.
2. Pay Attention. Check out your local zoning hearings to see if other towers are being built in your city or county. Attend the hearings when a tower is on the agenda; you might get to speak with an agent of the company who deals with sites all the time.
3. Be Patient. It may take years before the wireless companies are interested in your area. But they eventually will come– even in the more rural areas. Also, don’t be afraid to contact the carriers every six months or so to find out if things have changed.
4. Be Diligent. We are constantly contacted by people who wish to place a tower on their property. They expect that some company will want to help them lease their land for a cut of the action. Unfortunately, this person or company does not exist. The wireless companies don’t need to have you contact them. They know they can find land anywhere. As such, there is no reason for them to make their search rings or their phone numbers public.
5. Don’t Pay. Don’t entertain paying a “site listing service” or a site management company. They don’t work. If you are considering it, ask if they have local contacts in your city with the carriers.
While we wish we could help, we can’t. We don’t have contact numbers for wireless carriers, and we don’t build towers. We do not lease land, and we will not market your site for you. So please don’t contact us if you are interested in leasing your land. We just can not help.
What you can do is call the carriers directly and inquire if they have any need for your location. You can find out who has the licenses to provide wireless service in your zip code by going to www.wirelessadvisor.com. You can also try submitting your location to a few of the carriers and tower companies.
You can submit a site to Sprint/Nextel via email:firstname.lastname@example.org
For Cingular and Verizon, it is up to you to call until you find the right person. Ask for the real estate department. If you are the type of person who gets frustrated easily when someone does not return your message, than you are probably better off forgetting about the tower. It can take many many phone calls to reach the right person and even more calls to get an answer.
In the unlikely chance that you are successful in receiving interest, please see this page for more details regarding how we can help you get the best cell tower lease rate possible.