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Choosing The Best Apartment Intercom System in 2022 – 7 Things You Need To Know

  • 11/11/2021
  • 5 minute read

Apartment intercom systems are essential for multi-family communities. They curate building access, allow guests to communicate with residents, and act as the first layer of security to prevent unwanted guests from entering the community. When it comes to providing a feeling of safety and comfort to residents in the building, intercom systems are a must.  Apartment intercom systems have also experienced a number of technological innovations over the past few years. Whether you’re updating your old intercom system or shopping for a new one, finding the perfect apartment intercom system can be a challenge if you don’t have the information to help you ask the right questions. To help you navigate this journey, we have created this guide that answers your most relevant questions, and describes everything you need to know when looking for the perfect intercom system for your building.  

This guide will answer:

Video Intercom or Audio Only – which is better? Wired or Wireless – which is better? How long will a new intercom last? Is it easy for residents and guests to use? Data privacy and storage  How much does an intercom system cost in 2022? What’s the best apartment intercom system?  

Video intercom or audio only – which is better?

With eCommerce and online shopping growing exponentially, apartments and condos are receiving more visitors and guests daily than ever before. With so many people coming in and out, it becomes even more important for residents to be able to see who is trying to enter the building. For building security and resident safety, video intercom systems are the best choice. They allow residents to view and verify guests before letting them into the building, and most keep record of every access event so building staff always know who tried to enter, and when.  

Wired or wireless – which is better? 

For many years, wired intercom systems were the only available option. While they still exist today, wireless or cloud-based intercom systems have become the intercom of choice for most developers and asset managers. They’re easy to install, offer more features and functionality, and save you money by eliminating the need for costly wiring to each suite. For some wireless intercom systems, like 1VALET’s Smart Entry System, installation is easy; all you need is a connection to power and the internet. With no need for complicated wiring or big infrastructural changes, wireless intercom systems make the perfect option for both new developments and retrofit projects. Some wireless intercom systems also come equipped with built-in failsafes, in the case that the internet connectivity or power goes down. For example, 1VALET’s Smart Entry System shifts into offline mode when it loses network connectivity. Offline mode enables residents and staff to still enter the building despite no network connection, simply by scanning a QR code found within their Resident App. If the Entry System loses power, a built-in UPS will provide uninterrupted power for 35 minutes to allow users to still exit or enter the building as needed. Watch how 1VALET’s Smart Entry System works:


How long will a new intercom last?

Things happen fast, and when it comes to choosing an intercom system it is important to prioritize how long it will last you, as a way to future-proof your investment.  The word “investment” was used on purpose there, because at the end of the day your property is an investment that can either increase or decrease in value over time. By reading this guide and considering which intercom system is right for you, you’re already making the right choices to protect your investment. When shopping for the right intercom system, you want to ensure your investment lasts as long as possible, for your wallet’s sake. The best way to do that is ensure you’re getting one that is softwarebased. Being software-based allows the manufacturers to remotely push updates to the console, ensuring the feature sets continue to grow over time and that you’re always getting the most up to date versions.  Intercom systems that don’t continue to receive updates over time will become obsolete quickly, and with how fast technology is advancing, you’ll be in the market for another new intercom before you know it.   

Is it easy for residents and guests to use? 

We’ve gone over a few things to look for as a property or asset manager, but what about the actual users. Your staff, residents, and their guests will be the ones interacting with the intercom system, so you want to make sure you’re getting one that’s intuitive, easy to use, and comes with a wide array of feature sets. Ensure you’re choosing an intercom system that connects to resident’s phones, and not their suite. This will provide them the convenience of viewing and verifying visitors from anywhere, rather than only when they are home.  1VALET’s Smart Entry System comes paired with a Resident App, directing guest calls right to the residents phone and allowing them to view and chat with visitors from anywhere. As part of the 1VALET platform, the Resident App also allows tenants to natively book amenities, unlock doors from anywhere, receive messages from building staff, and much more.  View the 1VALET resident experience below: 


How much does an intercom system cost in 2022?

The cost of an intercom system will vary depending on your needs. Typically, an intercom system will cost anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000, plus additional costs for installation and/or maintenance fees.  Wireless intercom systems usually have lower installation fees because of how easily they can be set up, but for wired systems you might have to budget for additional material (wire) and labour costs. In any case, make sure to consider all your requirements and ask for a comprehensive quote that addresses each and every one of your needs. Choosing the right intercom system will make a huge impact on your community, so make sure you’re asking the right questions. For any questions you may have, our knowledgeable sales team is here to help.  

Data privacy and storage 

With so many of today’s video intercom systems being cloud-based, resident data storage and information privacy is essential. You want to make sure the system you’re getting is secure. Make sure you’re asking what sort of data privacy measures are in place, and how the company you’re buying from is protecting your data. 1VALET, for example, protects your data with bank-level encryption, ensuring your resident’s information remains safe and secure.   

What is the best apartment intercom system?

As always, it all comes down to your needs, but while the offerings for intercom systems are wide, there are only a few options out there that will give you all the benefits of a modern one.  1VALET’s Smart Entry System offers everything you need in a modern intercom system and more. Video calling to the 1VALET Resident App allows residents to view and verify guests from anywhere, while facial entry and digital access make it easy and convenient for residents to enter the building. 1VALET’s Smart Entry System is software-based, ensuring the longevity of your investment, and it can also replace your on-site concierge and save you thousands by rerouting calls for the concierge to our web-based management portal.  Coupled with patented Package Scanning Technology which grants seamless courier access into the building, 1VALET’s Smart Entry System is the most innovative intercom system available today. To learn more about the 1VALET Smart Entry System or our entire BuildingOS, you can get in touch with our team here.