What to Consider When Selecting an Intercom System for Apartment Buildings

Intercom systems for apartment buildings are a fundamental part of what keeps access safe and convenient for residents. As such, it’s imperative to have an intercom that meets your property’s needs.

Apartment buildings pose security challenges because it’s not just tenants who come and go—delivery personnel, maintenance contractors, and guests enter and exit the property, making safety paramount for both tenants and staff [1].

So instead of having an intercom that can make secure access frustrating for tenants and guests, implementing an effective system can enhance security and tenant satisfaction.

But what should you consider with multi-tenant intercoms for your apartment building? Here’s how to identify the system that will help you make a good impression, tighten security, and streamline access.

Different Types of Multi-Tenant Intercom Solutions

Depending on your budget and your property’s particular needs, you have different options for multi-tenant intercoms.

Audio Intercoms

Visitors can push a button to call into an apartment and request access. However, tenants need to identify a visitor by voice or would have to grant access to a stranger claiming they are maintenance or delivery personnel without being able to verify that visually.

There is also no record of the people attempting entry with an audio intercom solution, so you would need a separate system, such as surveillance cameras, for this.

Phone Technology

A phone intercom system has the guest utilize a directory that allows them to call the tenant’s phone so the person can speak directly to them. While this solution can be more convenient than audio technology alone, it still has its limitations—the tenant cannot see the visitor, and the system may still require traditional wiring to function.

Video Intercoms

Video intercoms overcome many of the challenges of phone and audio systems. With a video intercom, there’s no need for hardwiring, which can reduce installation time and expenses. Tenants can enter quickly via facial recognition or an app [2].

Tenants can also see who is attempting access, grant access remotely even when they are not home, and speak live to visitors while seeing them. Everything is done remotely via a resident’s personal device, reducing the management and expense of additional access hardware such as key fobs or staffing security personnel 24/7.

Video intercom solutions can also be integrated with additional security, such as surveillance and secondary access control, for enhanced safety.

Your Options via Cloud-Based or Wired Technology

While a wired system can provide reliability in the event that your internet goes down, it often poses more challenges than solutions. Wires are prone to failure from construction or damage over time, not to mention the expense and time to install a wired system can result in reduced ROI.

For many multi-tenant buildings, cloud-based intercom systems make sense because they allow benefits such as:

  • Remote access. Managers or security personnel can access data anytime in the cloud to review incidents, grant permission, or restrict access.
  • A digital trail. Have a digital trail of everyone attempting entry and even make improvements to security based on this information.
  • Real-time updates. Receive updates and make changes live in real-time to access permissions to potentially prevent a security incident.
  • Cost savings. Video intercoms reduce the need for security personnel 24/7 and even cleaning staff to constantly clean keypads and touch intercoms [3].

For many properties, a cloud-based intercom can provide the experience both residents and management are looking for, including convenience and security, for increased tenant satisfaction and lower operating and maintenance costs.

What’s Your Ideal Intercom Solution?

Find your ideal apartment building intercom system by working with Surveillance Secure. We have the leading-edge technology, experienced team, and custom solutions to help you make the most of your multi-tenant building intercom solutions. Call us at (877) 388-1248 today.


  1. https://www.naahq.org/improving-safety-and-security-multifamily-residents-and-staff
  2. https://www.securityindustry.org/2021/07/27/video-intercoms-in-a-post-pandemic-world-how-residential-security-systems-have-taken-on-new-functions/
  3. https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/93607-how-businesses-can-protect-employees-and-visitors-with-video-intercom-security

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