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Messaging - SMS Brands

An "SMS Brand" is basically just a profile (ie. business name, phone, and address) that you provide to carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile that identify you when they are sending your SMS messages to their customers.  It's basically like Caller ID for SMS.  It tells the world who you are and continues to ride along with your SMS messages even if you change your SMS phone number.  It establishes a sending reputation so that the carriers know you're legit and don't flag your messages as spam or slow down their delivery.

How to set up your SMS Brand

To create your SMS Brand, go to Settings > SMS Phone Numbers and drill in. We will automatically show you the "Create a brand" page right off if you haven't done it before.

After filling it out, click Save and Submit, and the form will disappear with a message telling you that it's pending review.  Our carrier will notify you, typically within an hour, if it was approved or rejected.  If rejected, you can try submitting it again.

Beyond the value that this brings to your SMS delivery, please know that the industry (and US government) have enacted rules that will soon require SMS Brands to be in place for all "A2P 10DLC" messaging.  That might look like a bunch of gobbledygook, but it basically stands for "application-to-person messaging using regular 10-digit phone numbers" which is what OwnerRez does.  You have a 10 digit phone number, and it's used to send SMS messages from an application (OwnerRez) to a person (the guest).

Here are some interesting things to know about SMS Brands:

  • The brand info (profile name, number, address) cannot be changed after submitting it.  So, what happens if you move addresses?  The answer is: we're not sure yet.  SMS Brands are a new thing based on new regulations, and we've built according to the latest specs that have been published.  We should have an answer for that in the future.  If you need to change your brand info, contact us and we can reset your entire SMS Brand and have you start over.  But generally speaking, once you submit the brand, you're done, and it's locked in place.
  • Nothing is sent to any government.  While there are government rules in the US about the adoption of Brands and A2P sending, the information we submit is only used by our SMS carrier to prepare your "Caller ID" stuff with the carriers.  We cannot say what happens to it beyond that, but OwnerRez does not transmit anything to any governing bodies, which we would not do anyway based on our Privacy Policy.
  • Where did the SMS Brand button or page go?  After submitting your brand and getting approved, we purposefully hide the SMS Brand area so as not to confuse or frustrate you when you can't change the information.  Don't worry, your SMS Brand is still there under the covers, and we'll use it when sending your messages.  In the future, we may show approved SMS Brands if there's something you can do with them.

Don't want to create an SMS Brand?

Unfortunately, we now require all users to have an approved SMS brand on file.  Without it, we cannot send SMS messages on your behalf.

Quite simply, the SMS and mobile carrier industry is forcing everyone to use them. Beginning March 1, 2022, messaging rates began doubling and sending rates started being delayed (or stopped entirely) without a brand.

If we didn't require you to create an SMS Brand, your rates would double and your text messages wouldn't be delivered. OwnerRez has always prided itself on speed and empowering individual vacation rental businesses to be the best they can be, so this isn't something we cannot ignore.

If you're curious, you can read more about this by searching the internet for articles about "A2P 10DLC". Businesses that send text messages via applications (like you and OwnerRez) are subject to new rules that fall under A2P 10DLC.

What if my brand is rejected?

This should be rare, but if you do get a rejection, don't worry!  You can reconfirm your info is correctly entered and then resubmit.  One thing to try before you resubmit is, if there is the country code of "+1" on the front of your phone number, remove that before resubmitting.  Sometimes that is what can hang the SMS brand approval. Or if you'd rather, contact us and we can check on what went wrong.  Definitely if you get a second rejection, contact us for support.

Common Issues and Questions

Where does this brand information (name, address, etc) show up?

The name, email and address that you submit with the SMS Brand does not get displayed to the guest anywhere.

While we may occasionally refer to this as a "Caller ID" like system, the information is only stored by the mobile carriers so that they can track the reputation of someone sending a lot of messages on a frequent basis.  The SMS and MMS protocols do not support any type of actual Caller ID that shows your name on the recipient's mobile phone.

I want my business name to be used instead of my first and last name

Currently the SMS Brand system only stores the first name, last name, phone number, email address and mailing address of the owner or person in charge of your business.  There is no field to enter a business name.

You can try to enter a business name as the first and last name, but it may be rejected when the brand is submitted.  If it is rejected, you may be able to try other variations until it is accepted.

Who is reviewing these brands and deciding if they are rejected/approved?

OwnerRez does not make the decision on what brands are rejected or approved.  When you submit the SMS Brand, the information is passed directly to our telephony carrier who has agreements with the major carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, etc) and submits the information in accordance with the rules and regulations they follow.

The review process is fully automated.  After submitting your brand, our system gets a response back within 30 minutes if the brand was accepted or rejected - which is also emailed to you.  The response does not tell us specifically why a brand is rejected; the user simply has to try again.  From what we can tell, the approval process appears to use public information to tell if someone is using a false phone number or address.  Other than that, the process is usually very fast and most submissions are approved.

Is there a phone number I can call to talk about my SMS Brand?

No.  Currently, the process is entirely automated and there are no human beings involved in checking or approving brand information.  If your brand gets rejected, we may be informed of the reason by the carrier.  If we are, we will include that in the email alert to you.  If you do not understand the reason given, or cannot correct, please contact support and we'll attempt to retrieve more details.  Typically, rejections occur because the user submitted a false phone number or address that does not exist in public databases.