Rooftop and Billboard Leasing
And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two
Up on the roof - The Drifters, 1963
Rooftop management firms would not share the eternally evocative rooftop and cityscapes view that The Drifters embraced if there was only room enough for two wireless service providers up on the roof.
In densely populated urban areas where land is expensive and community resistance to towers is high, rooftop locations provide quicker and easier deployment in most cases. A highly prized location can accommodate dozens of tenant opportunities.
A rooftop is an asset that has to be managed, and building owners are finding out that they are better served if they outsource it to a firm with strong communications design and marketing credentials, instead of relying upon their own staffing which can result in loss of revenues as well as exposure to legal actions.
Rooftops with clear lines of sight are hot commodities in cities and suburban communities as they add thousands of dollars annually to a building’s profits. Whether it is cellular, PCS, microwave, broadband or other voice and data technologies, most systems can share the same site. Studies should be done, however, to ensure that there is no intermodulation, which can degrade system performance.
Some rooftops have load-bearing capacities capable of supporting FM and TV broadcast antennas as well. Prior to the destruction of the World Trade Center, broadcasters had their primary and secondary antennas and facilities in one building. Now, they are utilizing separate locations such as the 4 Times Square building that supports a 132-foot broadcast tower for multiple FM stations.
Hotel chains, shopping center groups, office complexes and other multiple building companies with a large regional or national footprint are signing agreements with management firms to increase their rooftop tenant portfolio. Individual building owners can also benefit from utilizing a site management company’s resources to maximize revenue, while ensuring a safe and maintained environment.
Some companies have the capability to provide turnkey installations as well as offering alternative telecommunications services to building tenants as well as the rooftop client, such as linking their site to another location to provide route diversity and redundancy.
It is important to select a management company that is experienced in working with municipalities and regulatory agencies. They should also be knowledgeable of equipment installation, building codes, and have a strong background in telecommunications engineering. Some services typically offered are:
Overseeing tenant access, maintenance and operating standards
Documenting evidence of tenant regulatory and safety compliance
Marketing and negotiating tenant agreements
Monitoring tenant insurance and licenses
Administrating tenant billings and collections
Maintaining site appearance
Providing electronic compatibility evaluations
Providing solutions to structural or technical problems
The management firm can maximize its marketing plan by advertising in industry publications, targeted web sites, direct mailings to potential tenants, site directory listings, trade show exhibits and other promotional vehicles. Many management firms have a broad range of available leasing options in their portfolio, from rural tower sites to high-priority rooftops in metropolitan centers.
Representing the site owner and the tenant does not create a conflict of interest, if the site management firm is fair in its contractual obligations. However, when the tenant is in arrears, collections efforts can be a little tenuous.
Billboards in vogue again
With downsized base station dimensions for PCS requirements, and minimal loading requirements for 3G, Wi-Fi, and other applications, service providers are taking a closer look at the billboard-siting message.
Companies aren’t consolidating billboards for antenna applications, but some companies are signing agreements with major outdoor billboard companies for tower siting agreements, amassing 50,000 or more. Considering that there are millions of billboards throughout America, the industry can provide numerous locations along highway corridors and main thoroughfares.
Billboards are typically less expensive to colocate on than rooftops and towers. In many cases, no local government approval is required. In jurisdictions where local approval is needed – usually high-density neighborhoods with strict planning regulations – approval is more of an administrative delay.
An elevated business sign is also a sought after location for telecommunications equipment in many areas.
Management company fees can be structured in numerous ways depending upon the services required by the building owner. A percentage of the income is a common practice. Monthly tenant lease rates, similar to tower rentals, will be based upon the equipment and antenna footprint on the rooftop. Although $1,400.00 to $1,600.00 per month is an often-quoted amount for a PCS site, fees will be considerably higher in major metropolitan cities as well as on sought after rooftop locations.
We recommend that you contact our valued Rooftop and Billboard management companies to obtain additional information about their services, capabilities, experience and available locations.