fbpx

How To Choose a Proper Intercom System For Your Apartment In 2022?

Introduction

Welcome to the World of Modern Intercoms!

If you are one of those who is looking for a brand new intercom system for your apartment or simply want to replace an existing one in a building, then you are definitely in the right place! Our experts are here to help you choose the best intercom system according to your budget. BAS-IP intercoms will not only make residents` and visitors’ lives easier but will also improve building operations for property owners and staff.

The first step in finding a proper intercom system for your apartment is to ask yourself about your needs. Are you willing to provide your visitors with fast and easy access? Maybe you have deep concerns about the security of your property? Depending on your priorities, we will find the exact intercom which will meet all of your needs and wants. However, modern intercom systems are so various that it is crucial to know the benefits of each of them.

We have created this entire guide to help you buy a proper intercom system for your multi-apartment building. We will have a closer look at all important features of intercoms with wireless installation, video calling systems, and smartphone-based access. After reading this article, it will be easier for you to make the right decision.

Building Intercom Panel

What Is an Intercom System? How It Works And Its Benefits For Your Apartment.

An intercom system, also known as an apartment buzzer, is considered to be a particular device that not only enables two-way communication but also grants property access between visitors and tenants. Usually installed near the main entrance of a building, all intercom systems include a speaker with a microphone. More expensive versions also might come with a built-in camera. The point of having an intercom is that the system transmits video and audio in real-time to each resident in a building. It lets residents both speak and see the visitors before granting them access to the apartment.

Modern Apartment Intercom Systems Include the Next Benefits:

  • Provide residents with remote door control, which allows granting access to their property from a distance;
  • Let property managers and staff instantly change the access permissions;
  • Reduce the cost for both installation and/or maintenance for property owners.

Apartment Intercom System With Remote Door Control

To remotely grant (or deny) access, an apartment building intercom system requires a special door release device. Integrated into the apartment intercom system, this device allows building staff, and of course, tenants, to let their visitors in with a single push of a button. When a person pushes the “open the door” button, an intercom sends a signal to the door relay to open it. This works due to an inbuilt magnetic or electronic lock.

The other point you should consider before buying an apartment intercom system is to choose the right locks for your building. This of course depends on your security needs. We would recommend you first consult with a licensed electrician. This would give you a better understanding of which release device would be better to install in your apartment building.

The Multi-tenant Intercom vs the Front Desk

There are two categories of apartment intercoms, which are front desk intercoms and multi-tenant intercoms. Let us have a closer look at both of them:

A front desk intercom is placed in a lobby or a hallway, usually somewhere near the front desk, to monitor the office visitors. It is not widely used in apartment buildings. On the other hand, a multi-tenant intercom system allows visitors to call a specific apartment.

Multi-tenant intercom is more suitable for buildings with multiple apartments. Thus, tenants can communicate with their visitors directly. In addition, such intercoms can be useful for building staff, who do not operate at the front desk near the intercom system.

In modern realities, front desk intercoms have quite a limited functionality, as every modern building has a lot of apartments, which means many tenants and visitors. As you can see,  multi-tenant intercoms are indeed better suited to accommodate your visitors and deliveries.

How Does an Apartment Intercom System Work?

We`ve already discussed what an apartment intercom is, but how does it function? This system works by allowing possible visitors to call the needed apartment and request access from a tenant or staff member.

Here’s how the apartment intercom system works:

  1. Before using the intercom, a visitor has to look for the person they want to request property access from;
  2. To do so, visitors usually use an apartment directory or call a staff member;
  3. Next, a visitor pushes a “call” button on the intercom to notify a tenant;
  4. When the tenant receives a notification the resident or staff member can do one of the following: talk to the visitor, open the door or deny access and reject the call;
  5. At the building`s main entrance, where the intercom is installed, there is a  special electronic relay. If the tenant (or a staff member) has opened the door, that relay will be triggered;
  6. Next, a signal to a door releasing mechanism will be sent automatically (doesn`t matter if it is a magnetic or electronic lock). That exact signal will unlock the door and let the visitor into the resident`s property.

What is the price for an apartment intercom system?

Apartment Intercoms

Today’s prices for apartment intercom systems vary from $1,000 to $7,000. However, it does not include the cost of installation and/or maintenance services. Despite such a huge gap in price levels, it is still quite easy to calculate the total cost of the hardware itself. The hard part, however, is to calculate the installation of the intercom, as well as its future maintenance, as the price is not fixed. That price depends on the company`s rates, the price of the needed materials, and the installation.

Future maintenance costs, in its turn, will vary due to the number of purchased devices and wiring used to install the intercom.

Note: Because every building has its own needs in hardware and wiring, it would be better for you to consult with a certified installer to compare the options.

Why do apartment buildings need an intercom system?

If you are still not sure about whether to buy an intercom system or not, then you should consider the fact that nowadays, the intercom has become an integral part of modern apartment buildings. Thanks to it, tenants can manage their visitors’ access. As you remember, all multi-tenant intercom systems have special directories, so any visitor can call a specific tenant and ask for access. However, some people still believe that a video doorbell is better. Let`s compare it with an intercom.

Multi-tenant Intercom Panel

Video doorbells are mostly used in detached houses, like single-family homes. The very first thing that comes to mind is that video doorbells do not have directories. Because of that, if installed in a multi-flat building, visitors are unable to choose the specific tenant they’re visiting. Secondly, such doorbells don’t have integrated relays to unlock the door distantly. It means that tenants and building staff have to open the doors manually. But what are the benefits of that system? There is one – keycard that will grant residents and staff access. But even this feature has its downsides, these cards are designed to manage property access for tenants and building staff, but not for visitors.

Benefits of having an apartment intercom system

Improved security measures.

The crucial feature of an apartment intercom system is that it keeps residents safe. It allows tenants and staff to control who enters the property. Thus, tenants should not worry about unwanted visitors, as everyone is authorized before entering the building.
Easier deliveries. It is always irritating for staff to deal with package management. Thanks to an intercom, staff, and residents will be able to easily grant property access to couriers.

Improved ability to manage visitors.

Residents and guests may communicate without being interrupted thanks to intercoms. The ability to distantly interact with visitors and provide grant them property access is necessary for multi-tenant buildings. As you can see, an intercom is the best choice!

Improve your comfort.

It is another fact that all of us want to feel convenient, especially at home. With an intercom system, there is no need to go downstairs to let in another visitor. Property access can be given remotely.

Improve the residents` living experience.

Having an intercom system in the apartment building will instantly improve your security and overall convenience. It will provide your residents with a positive experience and will give them another reason to renew their leases.
Main factors that affect the intercom systems installation costs

We can distinguish 4 main factors that might potentially increase the final cost of intercom hardware and installation:

The number of intercom systems. If you live in an apartment building with only one entrance, then you`ll need only one intercom respectively. However, if your building has several entries you should purchase an intercom for each entry door.

Location of installation. It is usually cheaper to install an intercom system somewhere near the door. Bear in mind that putting it further away by even 1 ft will make it more expensive. This is due to the additional wiring expenses. This includes buying cables, opening the walls up, and paying people who do all the work.

Installing the system in every apartment. When one chooses an apartment intercom system that requires special in-unit hardware, the bill will be higher. You will not only have to purchase the additional hardware, but you will also pay for the labor and material costs. In addition, any future maintenance and upgrade costs are also quite high.

Installer’s experience. The most expensive cost comes hand in hand with an inexperienced installer. There are more than enough stories about them recommending unnecessary devices or equipment. If so, you may end up paying more than you need to. Only a professional installer can accurately install an intercom system in your building.
Main types of apartment intercom systems

There is a huge variety of apartment intercom systems for your property. Take your time to weigh all the pros and cons of different intercoms before making a decision. An intercom system of your choice will affect tenants, staff, and visitors of the building.

There are 4 main types of apartment intercoms:

  • Wireless intercoms
  • Cloud-based intercoms
  • Video intercoms
  • IoT intercoms

Wireless/wired intercom system

Intercom systems can be either wired or wireless. When selecting an apartment intercom system, you`d better know in which cases wired and wireless connections are preferable.

Wired apartment intercom

Errors with Internet connection are always irritating for residents, staff, and visitors. Imagine your visitor being stuck outside because you can`t open the door due to the intercom’s bad Internet connection. To avoid situations like this, we do not recommend wireless intercom systems that are connected to Wi-Fi. In our opinion, a wired Internet connection is more reliable. We advise our customers to purchase an intercom that can be wired directly to the Internet. Thus, no one’s ever stuck outside the apartment building in the rainstorm.

Wireless apartment intercom

The main point of having a wireless apartment intercom system is that you will reduce the cost of installation. As it is both expensive and time-consuming activity to wire through every apartment in the building. In addition, any upgrades will require rewiring the whole building once again. If your budget is limited, you`d better choose an apartment intercom that does not require wiring to each apartment within the building.
Note: 97% of Americans have a cell phone, while 85% own a smartphone. There’s no need to spend your time and money on wiring and installing the hardware in every apartment. Instead, residents can now use a smartphone to talk with their visitors and to let them in.

A modern intercom system will connect to your smartphone so you can speak with your visitors and manage the property access. The best intercom system lets you send video calls through an additional mobile application so residents can see visitors. This type of hybrid intercom system is truly a great choice. As you can see, residents without smartphones still are able to get calls and manage access.

Let`s conclude:

Modern apartment buildings are made of a variety of dense materials. Which might affect your intercom system’s wireless Internet connection. To be sure that your intercom system works as intended, you shouldn`t use Wi-Fi to connect the intercom to the Internet. Instead, use a wired Internet connection to link your intercom directly to the building’s Internet.

Installation of an intercom system can be quite expensive. Especially if you live in a modern multi-resident apartment building. If so, the wiring will be a long and complicated process. Choosing the proper intercom system will cut the cost of installation. Remember to avoid intercom system wiring to every apartment. It will be expensive to install and maintain.

Since almost everyone now has a smartphone, it would be wise to choose a so-called smart intercom, that comes with an additional mobile app. This way, you’ll avoid buying and installing building wiring and apartment hardware.

Cloud-based intercoms

Many of today’s intercom systems can be connected to the Internet. That enables to store data in the cloud, which in turn allows staff members not to be on property all the time to manage the doors. Just like residents who want to distantly open the door for their visitors, property staff would also be glad to use an intercom that allows them to remotely manage the system. To do so, purchase a cloud-based intercom with online management functionality. With its help, building staff will remotely manage access for visitors who want to enter the building.

A cloud-based intercom system allows property staff to:

  • Remotely update the apartments directory;
  • Add & cancel residents` permissions;
  • Review the audit trails of door releases to track visitors that have entered the building.

Video intercom systems

Nowadays, apartment tenants need secure visitor management and a door control system. One of the main features of modern intercoms is the ability to transfer video in real-time. If you are still unsure whether to ditch a telephone-based intercom or not, think about that major benefit. Outdated apartment audio intercom systems simply cannot transfer video, as they use telephone wiring. It is indeed worth upgrading to a video intercom.

Intercom Package Room

Benefits of a video intercom system with a built-in camera:

Residents and building staff will be able to see who’s at the door before granting them access to the building. This feature allows you to confirm that your visitors are truly who they say they are.

It reduces the risk of vandalism. Some of the video intercoms can turn on the record when one approaches your property. When there is a camera watching no one will try to break into the building or/and vandalize the property.

Apartment video intercom systems can document all the door entries for additional security. Property staff and tenants always have an online dashboard with time and date displayed in the picture of who has entered the building.

IoT intercoms

Unlike a traditional analog intercom, an IoT intercom uses the Internet to amplify its main functions. Thanks to an IoT intercom, both residents and visitors are able to communicate with each other wirelessly. The IoT intercom supports superb audio communication and video calling. In addition, IoT intercoms provide residents and staff with the ability to open the doors and manage the property access even if they are not currently in the building. It means that the IoT intercom system can be connected from anywhere.

How to choose an intercom for your apartment building?

Now, when you`ve learned about the main types of modern intercom systems for apartments, it is clear why your apartment building needs a proper intercom. However, there is still a question of how to choose an intercom. When looking for a building intercom, you should choose a  system that is secure, reliable, and convenient. There are several features you should take into consideration when purchasing an apartment building intercom.

6 features to look for when buying an intercom:

  • Mobile app
  • Integrations with other systems
  • Multiple property access methods
  • Supports multiple entrances
  • Contactless and touchless entry options
  • Reliable provider with a good track record

1. Mobile app

Choose an apartment intercom that comes with an additional mobile app. It will provide residents with the greatest experience.

With intercom systems that work with a smartphone app, you can open the door literally from anywhere. Tenants can do this even while they are not at home to provide access to delivery staff and other service providers, whether it`s a house cleaner or a dog walker. Additionally, it enables building staff to remotely provide maintenance personnel and potential tenants access to the property.

If your apartment intercom has an in-built camera, You may even use a smartphone call to see who is at the door before letting them in.

Finally, intercoms with mobile apps enable you to view all incoming calls and messages. A history of door releases will also be provided to you at any time.

Check the app’s reviews before selecting a system that includes one.  It might not be the best match if customers complain that the app is glitchy or unstable. The very last thing you want is to lock your tenants, staff, or visitors outdoors because the app isn’t functioning properly.

2. Integration with other systems

Both property managers and residents need convenience. Select an apartment intercom that can connect to the other systems you are using, such as your access control system or property management software.

Example: You may offer a touchless entrance into your property by wiring your intercom directly to the automated door operator or connecting it to your access control system.

Connecting to other prop-tech features, like smart locks, gives residents a flawless experience. From the same smartphone application, tenants may access both the apartment door and the building door.

If you are unable to implement all of these improvements, prioritize property access. Since only a small number of individuals require access to apartment doors, everyone has access to the building’s main entrance. Future improvements to your property can always be made by selecting a multi-tenant intercom.

The fact that you’ll have complete control over such a system in your building is the primary motive to choose an apartment intercom. For access control or smart locks, you won’t be constrained to choose a single provider.

3. Multiple property access methods

Intercom systems offer property access in addition to providing communication between tenants and their visitors. Think of the buzzer systems, where a person would simply push a button in their apartment to open the door for a visitor. The same is with traditional intercom systems which typically only offer a door-open button. However, intercom systems have evolved to provide many additional property access options. Find an intercom for your apartment that has several door-opening options.

Property access methods include:

Door PIN-code: Certain systems can generate a door PIN-code for residents. It should be typed at the main intercom panel to unlock the door.

Mobile application: Residents can use their cellphones to unlock the door if theyuse an intercom with a mobile app.

QR codes/Virtual keys: A virtual key capability is available on some intercoms. A resident may distribute these codes between his/her visitors to provide access to their property.

Facial recognition system: Facial recognition technology is available in some intercom systems. By merely gazing at the camera on the intercom, residents may utilize this function to open the door.

Voice control: Residents may be able to unlock the door with their voice thanks to modern intercoms’ interfaces with Alexa and/or Siri-enabled devices.

Bluetooth: Residents who have intercom systems with Bluetooth capabilities can open the door with a Bluetooth-connected device.

4. Supports multiple entrances

The best apartment intercom systems allow staff to control several building entrances.

For example, perhaps you have a vestibule with two doors in a row. If this is the case, sometimes you may want both doors to open. At other times, you want just the first door to open. Asking yourself questions about how you want your intercom system to work is important.

5. Contactless and touchless entry options

Contactless and touchless building entrance alternatives are becoming more important for multi-tenant apartment buildings.

The ability to grant a visitor with remote property access is known as a contactless entry. This indicates that you may authorize remote access to your property for visitors, delivery personnel, and maintenance staff without having to be there in person or in close proximity to them. They are especially essential for building staff members who oversee numerous properties or work remotely.

On the other hand, tenants, guests, and building personnel may access doors without touching them thanks to touchless entry. With your hands full of goods, it’s easy to avoid physically unlocking building doors. Make sure the apartment intercom system you choose has the capability of connecting to an automated door opener if you want to provide a touchless entrance to your building.

6. Reliable provider with a good track record

Installing an apartment intercom should be a wise investment that will last for many years. Therefore, always purchase from a business that has a solid reputation for dependability and customer service. Before making a purchase, look up the company’s web reviews. You may also seek the thoughts and recommendations of other real estate experts.

What is the best intercom system for your apartment?

You’ve finally read our guide and made your research. But how do you know which intercom to select?

Choose a BAS-IP intercom system

The BAS-IP is without a doubt the finest video intercom system for a multi-tenant apartment.  Building residents and staff may use smartphones to access the doors thanks to the BAS-IP video intercom. BAS-IP saves you time and money while enhancing resident convenience without the need for building wiring and in-unit hardware.

Property owners and staff choose BAS-IP intercoms:

It is a cloud-based intercom system that you can control remotely from any device and from anywhere;
Our intercoms can be easily integrated with other real estate technologies, such as smart locks, protect management software, etc;
It ensures smooth access so residents never miss deliveries or visitors;
BAS-IP intercoms allow property staff to save their time as they are no longer required to perform all property access obligations.

Residents prefer BAS-IP intercom systems:

Using a smartphone, tenants may unlock the door for themselves and visitors;
Even when they are not at home, they may still allow entry access to visitors and delivery personnel thanks to virtual keys and Delivery Passes;
Before opening the door, residents may use a video call to observe who is at the door;
It is simple to retrofit older buildings with the BAS-IP intercom system.

In a very short period of time, the BAS-IP firm was able to design and mass-produce a broad variety of equipment that satisfies current needs, ranging from access control systems to individual and building intercoms. The firm places a high priority on user interface design, straightforward functioning, and device design.

Looking for intercom system?