Symphony Wireless hangs its hat on delivering the best value and creating a smooth and efficient process with years of telecom experience, in all facets of its business. With connections across telecom, Symphony is enabled to be a long-term player in the industry as a buyout partner and asset manager.
Symphony Wireless says its telecom leaders have worked hard to create an efficient and easy origination process. David Neely, SVP of Acquisitions & Marketing has designed the acquisition team, pulling from over 25 years in telecom asset experience with Charter/Spectrum, and Sprint. Vice Chairman Jorge Pedraza helped create the lease origination business back in 2003 and has been leveraging asset and industry expertise to drive origination for over 20 years.
When landlords sell their leases to Symphony Wireless, they get value in the short and long term.
In the short term, they receive a lump sum buyout payment. In the long term, they benefit from Symphony’s position on the asset, which is to grow. This growth is the cornerstone of Symphony’s business, and the revenue gained from that growth could be shared with the seller.
“The revenue sharing option is becoming more popular because it showcases the long-term value of the asset, but we have many options available,” Neely said. “Everyone wins when a new lease is added to the asset, but it is no easy task. We have an asset management team that has originated thousands of wireless leases and works to continue to do just that.” In contrast, a bank will typically opt for a short-term buy and flip or hold it stagnantly without adding value. “Our view is long-term. We’re going to buy it, we’re going to hold it, and we’re going to grow it. That value will come back to the site owner if that’s the option they choose,” said Pedraza.
Additionally, Symphony helps mitigate the risk that comes with ownership of a cellular asset. “In an ever-growing universe of telecommunications, plans change, and de-commissions may occur,” said Neely. “Symphony Wireless doesn’t just mitigate that risk. It eliminates it by purchasing the cell site leases and adding them to its growing portfolio. This allows lease owners to capitalize on the unrealized value of their leases.” It can be a tower with a ground lease on land, or a rooftop installation on a building; either way, owners can mitigate risk and maximize value by working with Symphony Wireless.
Symphony Wireless has three pillars in its business: acquisition, marketing, and management. Acquisition of cellular assets, marketing of those assets to potential lessees, and management of the site’s day to day needs and modernizations.
After it buys the leases on a site, which may be a building, a tower or other structure, Symphony Wireless begins handling the day-to-day management of the site and any tenant project management. “We make sure our partner site owners and tenants receive the best service as it relates to their ongoing operations. Each site is assigned a dedicated individual Asset Manager who carefully and eff\iciently reviews and coordinates all requests in a timely manner,” said Nicholas Tzavis, Director of Asset Management.
Along with acquiring the leases, Symphony Wireless acquires rights to space on the site that they can then lease out to the telecom carriers and other wireless communications related companies. For example, if T-Mobile and Verizon lease space on a rooftop, Symphony would acquire those existing leases based on an underwritten revenue multiple and then work to lease remaining space to new tenants, thus increasing the value of the investment.
“Marketing a cell site is more effective on a portfolio level as opposed to an individual level,” Pedraza noted. “Carriers like to work on their projects in bulk and they love our business model, we have great relationships with them, and as the portfolio grows so does our potential to add value,” added Neely.
Symphony Wireless’ relationships aren’t limited to just the big carriers either. “Our business model includes building a portfolio of attractive sites to lease out to all wireless communication providers. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs), IoT companies if there are antennas — we’ll look at all options,” says Tzavis.
Partnering with Landlords
According to Pedraza, Symphony Wireless’ experience in owning, managing, and leasing spans thousands of originations over decades from coast to coast. It’s looking to increase its partnerships by acquiring existing leases and giving owners flexible options with cash buyouts and revenue-sharing options for net-new carrier leases.
“If you own the physical asset of a cell tower, whether freestanding or on a rooftop, you are a vital part of this world,” Neely said. “That vitality may be worth more than you know. Realizing the value of your existing assets is critical in times of financial uncertainty and we’d like to help you by connecting you with our advisors. Keeping that knowledge in your back pocket can prove useful when you need it most.”