How Do You Get A Cell Phone Tower or Cell Site on Your Property?
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We've been contacted countless times by people who claim a friend, associate, neighbor or colleague receives $800 every month to lease property to a wireless or cell phone tower company. The first question is always “How can I lease my property and receive 'mailbox money' every month?” The second question is always "Can you help me obtain a lease for my property?"
Though we hate bursting bubbles, we must be honest with such hopeful landowners and relay the fact that anyone seeking a revenue-generating lease of this sort has less than a 1% of success. Please read that again - less than 1% chance of success. Because there are such low odds of success, Steel in the Air does not help landowners market their property for a tower or find a wireless tenant to lease their rooftop. So no matter how good of a site you have, we can't help you find wireless companies that are interested in leasing it. Please read on though for more about how you can improve your chances slightly on your own.
Wireless carriers spend significant money and resources designing systems around specific radio frequency engineering standards and often target specific geographic locations. With that said, if you are still convinced you might be a good candidate, there are certain factors you can use to begin evaluating your property. They include:
- Distance to Adjacent Towers: If existing cell phone towers are within one mile of your location, chances are slim another will be built. Local zoning jurisdictions require use of existing towers first. If there are no towers nearby, then your property is more desirable.
- Dense Population or High Traffic Counts: If your location is surrounded by either an urban or suburban population or near roadways with high traffic counts, your property may be more desirable. If you are in a rural area and are not within 1/2 mile of a major highway or a town with a population of 2,000 or more, you probably won't get a cell phone tower on your property.
- Zoning: Many jurisdictions (counties, towns, cities) have zoning ordinances that allow communication towers. If your property is an industrial parcel surrounded by residential property, the likelihood that a wireless carrier could use your property increases. Likewise, if you have a residentially zoned property surrounded by industrial property, the likelihood decreases. Contact your local planning, zoning, or community development office first to find out if your property even meets the requirements.
As a frame of reference, below are some scenarios that will likely not result in a cell phone tower lease:
- Your property is farmland surrounded by other farmland, unless you are within ¼ mile of a 4-lane road.
- Your property is a rooftop space that is less than 30 feet taller than any building in within a one-mile radius.
- Property is residentially zoned.
- Your property is located on the highest point in the county.
- Your property is located in area that doesn't have any cell phone coverage. It's probably because the carriers have opted not to cover those areas that don't meet certain business criteria.
Please note, we no longer provide the service of evaluating your property for possible cell phone towers or cell site leases and we do not market properties to carriers.
If you have already been contacted by a carrier about leasing your property for a cell phone towers or cell site leases, then we are at your service.
Some carriers and tower companies do provide websites to which you can submit your land for lease consideration:
You can submit a site to Sprint/Nextel via email at: email@example.com or submit via web form at https://sprintsites.com/links/cellsite1.cfm. Please note that the link says that the Sprint site does not have a proper security certificate. We entered the site without issue, but we aren't making any promises.
ATTN: Friendlies Administrator
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You can attempt to contact the carriers directly, which will be nearly impossible. Try placing a sign on your property stating you have property for lease for a cell tower. Then, just be patient. We advise against signing up with property listing services and site management services. They lack the marketing staff and local knowledge necessary.