Lease Optimization Companies
Lease optimization companies are entities that were formed to negotiate better leases for the parties they represent (typically, tower owners and wireless carriers). Please note that Steel in the Air is not affiliated with any of these companies. Steel in the Air is similar to a lease optimization company, but, as we like to say, "We play for the home team." We work exclusively for the LESSOR (e.g., private and public landowners, and municipal governments) in negotiations against telecom companies (the LESSEE). For more information on Steel in the Air’s services, please see: Who We Serve, What We Do and Advantages.
We have provided contact information, including web addresses for each of the companies in case you have found our website in error while searching for these companies.
Black Dot Wireless: Visit their website: www.blackdotwireless.com
Historically, Black Dot has worked for Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Currently, we don’t see much from them other than occasional inquiries that they make on behalf of AT&T. These inquiries take the following format:
- Requests to extend an AT&T cell tower lease that has less than 5 years remaining;
- Requests to amend an AT&T cell tower lease to add a “Right of First Refusal” clause and to make changes to the “permitted use” language;
- Requests to reduce the lease rate currently being paid to AT&T cell tower landowners.
In some cases, Black Dot will offer a nominal increase in the lease rate in exchange for an extension of the lease duration. However, we caution all landowners who are approached by Black Dot on behalf of AT&T to be wary of any proposed changes. These proposals (even the ones that increase the lease rate) are almost always attempts to encourage the landowner to sign an undervalued lease extension or to agree to terms that could materially reduce the value of the site. If you have received an offer from Black Dot, forward it to us. We will review it at no charge and either recommend that you do nothing (decline to make changes) or, provided that we believe we can help, will quote you a cost for our services.
Md7: Visit their website: www.md7.com
Md7 has historically provided services to the same companies as Black Dot Wireless. These two companies are direct competitors, and at times, if wireless carriers were not seeing satisfactory results (a significant number of changes to existing leases) using one company, they would engage the other. Today, most of the contact we see from Md7 is as follows:
- Proposals to amend Sprint leases to add additional equipment to the site;
- Proposals to purchase leases from leaseholders (in this capacity, they are acting as a lease buyout company)
If you have been contacted by Md7 regarding your Sprint lease and have been asked to sign an amendment with either little to no compensation, we advise you take caution. You may be entitled to additional compensation for those modifications. Please reach out to us and we will gladly review your lease and the proposal at no cost and then let you know whether you need our services further and if so, how much they will cost.
Lyle Company: Visit their website: www.lyleco.com
While not considered a lease optimization company per se, Lyle Company does assist some tower companies with lease negotiations, such as lease extensions and lease buyout offers. Most of the inquiries we see are from landowners who have been contacted by Lyle Company acting on behalf of Crown Castle. Their proposals take two forms:
- Proposals to extend the expiration terms of a Crown Castle lease agreement;
- Proposals to purchase an easement for a lump sum under an existing Crown Castle lease agreement.
Regardless of why an agent from Lyle Company is contacting you, they are always seeking to procure the best value for Crown Castle. They have amassed a substantial amount of data and information on their side. They know how much the tower is worth to Crown, how much leeway they have in negotiations, and what other options are available to Crown. You should too, and that is where we come in. We help level the playing field by assisting you with optimizing your lease extension or lease buyout, if that is, in fact what you want to do.
Requests to reduce monthly lease payments might not be detrimental to your bottom line. It’s important to look at the terms of the lease, holistically. In some cases, for instance, modifications that extend the duration of your lease while reducing the monthly lease payments might result in a higher net present value.
You may have received an offer to purchase your cell site lease (what is referred to as a “lease buyout”). Contrary to what you might be lead to believe by the company who has made you an offer, the risk that your lease will be terminated may not be a factor at all. In other words, buyout companies are in the business of profiting.
Steel in the Air prides itself on accurate, ethical, data-driven analysis. Some other websites and cellular consultants have accurate data, but skewed advice (due to self-serving motivations); while others have honest intentions yet biased data. Steel in the Air has the best of both worlds. You can depend upon us. Just ask our clients!