Interview with our COO, Amber Brandhagen

This week we sit down with Amber Brandhagen, Chief Operating Officer of NAI Global Wireless. Amber has been in commercial real estate since 2014 and is co-founder and COO of NAI Global Wireless. She’s a member of CREW and is implementing the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. We sat down with her last week to discuss the wireless industry.

Q: Since beginning in 2014, what has been the biggest change in the wireless industry?

A: Technology is ever changing. You hear a lot about 5G, but what people don’t know is 6G is already in the works. Technology changes daily. Before 5G is fully implemented across the US, 6G will be rolling out with even faster speeds.

Another big change is cell lease buyout prices. When I first started, we were pricing cell leases around 135X the monthly rent. We’re now seeing multiples north of 220X of the monthly rent. We can’t shout it from the rooftops loud enough, landlords should sell now! But, with inflation and rising interest rates, the market will be retreating Q3 of this year and we may not see pricing this high again.

Q: Who’s buying these wireless assets and what’s driving this crazy market?

A: Who else, Wall Street Gamblers!

Q: How do you get a cell tower on a property?

A: Cell site needs are based on radio frequency engineering and need in a particular area. Carriers have real estate departments you can submit your sites to but it’s unlikely you’ll hear back, but hey it’s worth a try!

With that said, we have completed leases with our clients with a tower company looking for sites in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. If you have a property there, we can review and see if it meets their criteria.

Q: What services does NAI Global Wireless provide?

A: NAI Global Wireless specializes in wireless landlord representation across the United States and provides a myriad of services. We never represent carriers or tower companies and can’t be compromised. We assist in lease renewals, new builds, buyouts, evaluations, relocations, valuations and much more. If a landlord has a need, we find a solution.

Q: You mentioned that landlords are receiving letters from the carriers directly requesting to upgrade the site. Do you mind elaborating?

A: Sure. Older leases never contemplated 5G technology. In many cases, the use clause doesn’t allow for such upgrades. Carriers are trying to slyly upgrade sites to 5G technology without providing landlords monetary consideration. Our team will review a landlord’s lease and amendments to check for the language and advise if they are entitled to a lease amendment. This is a great opportunity to make sure all terms and conditions are up to market standards, such as insurance provision, escalator, etc. If you receive a letter from the carrier or a third party requesting your consent to upgrade, please reach out to our team. We review all leases free of charge and without obligation.

Q: How does it feel being a COO of the only national brokerage firm that specializes in wireless real estate?

A: Honestly, it’s such an accomplishment. I have worked very hard to get where I am today. I’m a young female professional in a male dominated industry. I’ve been fortunate to work alongside David Moore, our CEO and my mentor, since recruiting me into the industry 8 years ago. I look forward to growing the company internationally and assisting many more clients across a true global platform.