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How to Choose an Intercom System for Apartment Building

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How to Choose an Intercom System for Apartment Building

Do you want instant access to see who’s at the other end of your door? Or do you fear that you will let an intruder in your building unknowingly? Then an intercom system for your apartment building will solve all your problems.

With two-way, real-time communication, an intercom system gives you the control to grant or restrict access to your visitors. Whether you own a commercial building or live in a residential apartment building, intercom systems offer increased security and convenience. 

If you’re thinking of investing in an intercom system for your building and don’t know where to start, we can help. We’ve put together a useful guide that introduces you to the different types of intercom systems and what you need to consider before buying one. Read on to learn more. 

What is an Intercom System for Apartment Buildings?

An intercom system for apartment buildings is a device that allows tenants to communicate with visitors from inside their apartments without having to open their doors. It has both indoor and outdoor components. The outdoor component is usually a button or keypad mounted near the main entrance that visitors can push to call the tenant. The indoor component is a speaker and microphone inside the apartment that allows the tenant to communicate with the visitor and grant access.

There are many different types of intercom systems, ranging from simple two-way voice communication to video, wireless and cloud-based intercom systems. Intercom systems are usually installed to meet a property’s security and communication needs and connect visitors, not only from the outside the premises but also employees and security staff on the inside.

The type of intercom system you choose depends on:

  • Commercial or residential use – businesses usually need a more complex intercom system that can meet the communication and authorisation needs of a large number of people. Whereas residential buildings may not need such extensive and complex systems
  • Budget – Your budget plays a major role in the type of intercom system you choose. Higher budgets can get you state-of-the-art intercom systems which can be integrated with different applications to offer remote security options, video and automation 
  • Security – apartment buildings in posh localities generally have more expensive intercom systems installed for enhanced security. The same applies to businesses, especially those that deal with high-end goods, sensitive information or research projects, law firms, etc 

Consult a reliable and experienced intercom specialist for help in choosing an intercom system suited to the needs of your property. They have the skills and expertise to recommend and install an intercom system with custom security solutions with repair services when needed. 

Types of Apartment Intercom Systems

Some of the different types of intercom systems you can choose from include:

Wired Intercom Systems

A wired intercom system is a type of communication system that uses cables to connect a series of intercoms throughout a building. The wires connect the indoor and outdoor unit, and their communication capabilities and strength depend on the length and type of cables used. 

Wired intercom systems are one of the most commonly used systems, especially for apartment buildings. You can choose a simple audio system or one with both audio and video. The installation cost may be higher if the covered area is larger or the system is more complex. 

Wireless Intercom Systems

A wireless intercom system works with radio waves or wifi and does not need wiring to connect the main console and the substations. It usually consists of a base station and several handsets or wall-mounted units that communicate with each other using radio signals. Wireless intercom systems for apartment buildings are generally used for security purposes, home automation, and communication within a business.

Wireless gives mobility to the system remotely and can be used remotely from smartphones with the convenience of checking your home or business security even when you’re not in the building. Wireless systems also work as wifi intercom systems for apartment buildings and are less expensive to install as they don’t need wires to run through walls or ceilings and can be plugged into an electrical outlet.  

Telephone Entry System

A telephone entry intercom system allows access to a secure area, such as an apartment building, by using a telephone. It is designed to provide secure access while reducing the cost of maintaining a physical presence at the entrance. It usually consists of an outdoor handset mounted at the entrance connected to an indoor answering system. When a visitor presses the button on the outdoor handset, the indoor answering system will ring and the resident or tenant can answer the call and talk to the visitor before allowing them access to the premises.

Video Intercom Systems for Apartments

A video intercom system is a security system that allows for two-way audio and video communication between two or more locations. It’s used to monitor and manage access to a property, such as an office building or an apartment complex, and is connected to a doorbell or access control system. It allows the user to see, hear, and converse with a visitor from a remote location.

Benefits of intercom system for apartment building

Telephone intercom systems and video intercom systems work as apartment access control systems, combining call and video for multiple benefits. 

Some of them include:

Improved Security 

They allow you to communicate with the visitor, relaying instructions for delivery or informing them of availability. Intercom systems also provide improved security, allowing you to see the visitor and allowing you to raise an alarm if there is an intruder or unrecognised person.

This provides an increased layer of security to residents, giving them the peace of mind that no one can enter the building without access.

Secure delivery management

Residential or commercial apartment buildings have a lot of deliveries coming in daily. From online shopping packages and deliveries to documentation, goods, and material, buildings need a streamlined access system for the security and safety of the residents, employees and owners.  

A reliable intercom system ensures secure management delivery so that no one can enter the building without access and identity verification. The personnel at the gate confirm the delivery date and name before giving access and cross-check it before letting anyone in.  


One of the main advantages of having an intercom system is the convenience of knowing who’s at the door without having to go outside to check. This saves time and allows you to buzz the authorised visitor in or deny entry to unauthorised people. 

Business continuity

As technology becomes more integrated, video intercom use becomes more advanced and accessible. An apartment intercom system with a video intercom improves operations, allowing employees to connect with the relevant departments instantly. This saves time and streamlines operations and work processes. 

What features to look for when choosing an intercom system for an apartment building

Modern intercom systems offer multiple features to home and business owners to provide them with more than just the benefit of knowing who’s outside their building. These additional features elevate your intercom system into a custom, high-tech system that allows you to monitor your building access from remote locations, provide automated access, video recordings and more. 

Some of the features you should look for when choosing an intercom system include:

Mobile app

With almost everyone having a smartphone these days, you have access to many applications that can be integrated with your home or business intercom system. You can connect your intercom system to your phone for instant access and control with video and audio to monitor entry and exit to your building. 

Integrations with other systems

Larger apartment buildings, especially business buildings, can integrate their intercom system with other applications for a complete, state-of-the-art security system. This provides you with a customised security solution that can be controlled from one central location for employee and visitor access and increased control, both inside and outside the building. 

Delivery management solution

Does your apartment building have a high influx of daily deliveries? Then utilising your intercom system as a delivery management solution will streamline your delivery entry and exit for higher security and increased control. 

There’s no need for back-and-forth confirmations with the delivery waiting outside until the entry authorisation is confirmed. The intercom system can also be used for multiple entry points, streamlining the communication process for lesser backlogs and delays. You also get the added benefits of audio and video recording with recording features to keep track of incoming deliveries, and if they have been received on time or not. 

Multiple property access methods

Gone are the days when only one exit and entry was the norm at apartment buildings. Now there are different entry points for deliveries, others for security-sensitive or important visitors and even another one for permanent tenants or owners. 

Intercom systems can be connected to multiple access points with different access methods for the relevant person. It all varies on the requirements of different properties and their security and communication needs. 

Best tips for choosing an intercom system for an apartment building

Some of the factors you should consider when choosing an intercom system include:

  • Security needs 
  • Tenant requirements 
  • Audio with video or without 
  • Remote monitoring 
  • Entry points 
  • An influx of daily visitors 

Prioritising your requirements can help you choose an intercom system and integrate it with features that suit your needs. For example, a smaller apartment building with fewer tenants does need a high-tech, cloud-integrated security system. But if the apartment houses celebrities or political figures, the intercom system will need all the audio, video and enhanced security integrated specifications. 

The most important thing is to consult a reliable electrical company with electrical expertise and business connections to understand your property and its tenant requirements and meet them accordingly. 

Leaders in Electrical and Communications Services for over 3 Decades

Glenco offers a complete range of electrical and communications services to meet all your residential, commercial and strata needs. If you’re looking for an intercom and security specialist for your apartment building, give us a call.

With a team of qualified electricians and security experts, we’ll work with you to install a high-quality intercom system designed for your property – with a reliable aftersales team and repair and replacement service whenever and wherever you need it. 

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