The Telco Property Experts
Business View Oceania interviews Dennis Doty, Managing Director at siteXcell, for our Technology View.
The experts at siteXcell have worked exclusively on behalf of property owners to manage relationships with telecommunications carriers since their founding in 2005. Over the last 17 years, siteXcell have supported private landowners, property managers, utilities, REITS and investment banks, critical infrastructure assets, and government and education landholdings, to ensure the protection of their interests when dealing with carriers. The company uses their expert knowledge of the telecommunications industry to level the playing field for landowners, maximise their returns, add value to telecommunications sites, and minimise the risk of revenue loss.
siteXcell can assist clients in negotiating a new lease (new lease, lease renewal, surrender and re-grants, termination, relocation, ‘make good’ negotiations, and upgrade notifications), selling an existing lease (market analysis, commercial heads of terms, and sale by tender facilitation), managing property access by telcos (access protocols, access requests, and managing WHS documentation), understanding Land Access Activity Notices (LAAN reviews, objections, and appeals), and identifying and responding to unauthorised equipment on property. The team also extends opportunities for strategy mentoring, marketing analysis, and portfolio advice.
Mr. Dennis Doty is Managing Director at siteXcell. “We exist to help our clients navigate the many challenges associated with developing and managing beneficial relationships with telecommunications carriers. The Telecommunications Act has not been properly revised since 1991, and it is, for the most part, a very onerous piece of legislation that gives carriers a great deal of power over their interactions with property owners. We have seen many instances where we believe landowners’ rights have been ignored thanks to this legislation being skewed in favour of carriers, which leaves owners feeling overwhelmed and unable to compete. We work in property owners’ best interests to make sure that they are getting the best value possible, and that any risks associated with carrier work are mitigated inside and on their buildings. We also refer our clients to our network of legal professionals to ensure they understand technical lease documents, and work with industry bodies such as the Property Council of Australia and the Facilities Management Association of Australia to recommend changes in legislation and update them on industry developments to address issues in land use compensation and build appropriate dispute resolution paths.”
But getting the word out to property owners that their assets may not be accumulating the value they should has been difficult, Mr. Doty explains. “Our biggest goal is to raise awareness of our business and the problems we help solve. We are quite visible online, including LinkedIn, where we post articles documenting what we see in the marketplace- many of which are also available on our Insights website page. At the moment, we are reaching out in particular to senior real estate players to improve their understanding of just what is happening in their buildings and portfolios. I think many property owners have had a focus during and following COVID on simply getting warm bodies back into the office. Now is the time to make sure everything is above board telco wise as they approach a new era of hybrid work environments.”
siteXcell’s team of eight uses their combined experience of 70+ years in the telecommunications industry to provide value for their clients whilst maintaining a working culture that is honest, professional, and ethically committed to improving the lives and protecting the investments of property owners. siteXcell staff work exclusively for owners, Mr. Doty says. “We are very proud of the fact that we only work on our side of the line- some consultancies will work for both owners and carriers, which we believe is unethical. We are one of only a few organisations in the country that do what we do, so we are providing a very niche service, which means our approach has to come from a place of positivity, trust, and care. Our directors have all worked on the other side of the curtain during earlier stages of their careers, so we have first-hand experience and solid contacts on the carrier side that allow us to stay ahead of the crowd in terms of technology changes, deployment trends, etc. We also have our WiredScore Accreditation, which demonstrates our commitment to meeting and exceeding global technology standards. This is a very, very strong team. Everybody gets along. There’s no politics, no energy wasting bureaucracy- they are simply very intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated people helping property owners navigate what has become quite a hazardous market, whilst at the same time addressing owners’ desire for telecommunications options in their buildings.”
siteXcell use their expertise in technology to provide property owners with installation discrepancy reports and estimations on lease value. Mr. Doty elaborates, “We can now take someone’s portfolio and map out all the installations on their land, compare it with what they have in their records, and produce a report in a matter of weeks that will highlight any discrepancies we find. We have found that when reviewing several large portfolios that in some cases, the owners are only receiving rent for half or even one third of installations that are actually on their land. Just in one case for example, the property owner was owed $1.2 million in back rent alone and required increased rental going forward. So we’re really excited with all the advances that we’ve made in our technology platform, particularly our own databases that we’ve been working very, very hard to get up and running, and which now contain thousands of leases. So, say a client calls us to report that they have a tower on their land and their carrier wants to reduce the rent. We can tell them what it’s worth, and whether that carrier’s request is justified. This project has been a huge amount of work on our end at significant expense, but it’s saving us and our clients time and money in the long run.”
siteXcell has high hopes for the next few years, with plans to further expand their offering in Australia and eventually make their way into the North American market. Mr. Doty concludes, “We are also getting involved with 5g upgrades as they begin to roll out across the country, making sure we are doing our due diligence in supporting clients during the transition. There are a number of things they need to be conscious of- this isn’t a terrible thing by any means, but it does pay to be cautious and make sure you’re understanding the potential effects that such a large change can have on your property regarding issues such as Electromagnetic Emissions (EME).” siteXcell will continue to deliver their expert services with landowners’ best interests in mind, supporting the creation, navigation, and management of beneficial telecommunications relationships.
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AT A GLANCE
What: Telecommunications property advisors supporting Australian property owners nationwide
Where: siteXcell is headquartered in Sydney, Australia