You know how important a building entry system is for your residents and their visitors. However, knowing when to replace your apartment intercom system and what to replace it with can be challenging.
Whether your intercom is broken or just outdated, replacing it can significantly improve your building access and resident experience. If you need help with your apartment intercom replacement project, keep reading for tips on when to upgrade and what kind of system to install.
This post covers:
- The best apartment intercom replacement
- 13 signs you need an apartment intercom replacement + what to look for in a new intercom
- When is it time for an apartment intercom replacement?
- How much does it cost to install a new intercom?
- When is it time for an apartment intercom replacement?
The best apartment intercom replacement
When it’s time for your next apartment intercom replacement, consider ButterflyMX. ButterflyMX wireless video intercoms have been installed in more than 10,000 buildings. And with more than 20,000 five-star reviews, ButterflyMX is the clear frontrunner as the best wireless intercom on the market today.
Video intercoms are quickly becoming a must-have for apartment buildings. Today’s renters want their apartments to be secure and convenient to access, which is easily accomplished using a wireless video intercom.
Here’s why ButterflyMX is the best apartment intercom replacement:
- Powerful mobile app: The ButterflyMX mobile app is a convenient and reliable way for residents to manage building access from anywhere. It has thousands of five-star reviews so you know residents like it too.
- Remote management: You can control access and manage the system from anywhere in the world using the ButterflyMX OS. From the online dashboard, you can view audit trails, adjust permissions, manage integrations, and more.
- Virtual keys: Create time-restricted virtual keys for guests to use at the door. With virtual keys, residents and staff can grant access to everyone from dog walkers to family members at approved times.
- Seamless deliveries: ButterflyMX also has features specifically designed for delivery access. With Delivery Passes and delivery PINs, staff doesn’t have to worry about letting in carriers and residents won’t ever miss a delivery.
13 signs you need an apartment intercom replacement + what to look for in a new intercom
As devices age, they inevitably will experience issues — and intercoms are no exception. Depending on the type of intercom you currently have, it may be more cost-effective to replace the system when it breaks instead of repairing it.
Here are 13 signs it’s time to upgrade your apartment intercom — including key features to look for in your new intercom:
- Power failure
- No longer opening the door
- Frequently needing repairs
- Failing to meet your property’s needs
- Resident experience
- Increase in package thefts
- Mobile app
- Delivery management
- Easy installation and maintenance
- IP65 rating
Over the years, your residents may have begun reporting issues like static or humming noise when using the intercom. And in the worst-case scenario, your intercom’s audio could even stop working altogether.
This is especially common for wired intercoms because the wiring connecting the front door hardware to each in-unit device erodes over time.
2. Power failure
Power failures can be caused by anything from loose wiring to a bad switch. Wired intercoms carry electricity with copper, which can degrade over time.
Similarly to noise problems, these issues are less common for wireless intercoms because there is less hardware involved.
Learn about the real estate cycle with ButterflyMX:
3. No longer opening the door
If your residents are pressing the “door open” button, but it’s not working, there are a few culprits. Your apartment intercom system with door release might be suffering from old wiring, broken buttons, or an electronic strike that no longer works.
Regardless of the reason, an intercom system that doesn’t open the door is useless — and enough inconvenience might set your residents looking for a new place to live instead of renewing their leases.
4. Frequently needing repairs
Let’s say you’re having hardware issues, and you’ve replaced one apartment’s buzzer. While that’s great news for one resident, the rest of the system is still outdated. In other words, you may need apartment intercom replacement parts for other units, gates, or the wiring that extends throughout your entire property.
In those cases, rather than trying to perform patchwork repairs across your whole building, it might be easier to replace your entire intercom system altogether.
5. Failing to meet your property’s needs
Even if an intercom is working properly, it might not be useful if installers don’t take the uniqueness of your property into account.
For example, let’s say your front door intercom is working properly — but your building is also surrounded by a fence and gate. What good is an in-unit station that residents can use to let people in when they have to go all the way downstairs anyway to open a gate without remote access capabilities?
6. Resident experience
These days, managers are placing a premium on the resident experience by upgrading everything on the property — and intercoms are no exception.
Modern residents are looking for features like smartphone apps, Delivery Passes, and integrations with other proptech. If your intercom is still analog, it might be time for a replacement.
7. Increase in package thefts
Thanks to the internet and delivery services like Amazon and eBay, your residents are likely fielding a constant stream of packages. That makes it your responsibility to ensure resident packages are safe and secure until residents are ready to pick them up.
To combat porch piracy, you might consider investing in an intercom with features like delivery PINs for major couriers.
Cloud-based intercoms store data in the cloud so you can manage the entire system from anywhere, anytime, without the hassle of going onsite to make manual updates. By choosing a cloud-based intercom system, you’ll save time and enjoy automatic software updates and data backups.
Additionally, if you choose a cloud-based intercom with a camera, the system can take a date- and time-stamped photo of every entry event, ensuring maximum security.
9. Mobile app
Nowadays, we can use our smartphones as wallets, car keys, and even transit cards. So why not allow your residents to use their smartphones as keys to gain access to your building?
Modern apartment intercoms pair with mobile apps, allowing residents to open the door or gate right from their smartphones. So, choose an intercom system with a powerful and highly rated app that offers multiple ways to open the door such as swipe, tap, or voice control.
10. Delivery management
Residents receive many packages and food deliveries on a daily basis. So, choosing an intercom system that also doubles as a package delivery system is more efficient. That way, couriers can enter the building using a PIN code to securely place packages inside the building or even in a designated package room.
Even better: upgrade to an intercom that offers delivery passes so residents can create and send single-use codes directly to delivery carriers for easy access.
Watch how ButterflyMX’s Delivery Pass works:
With a video intercom system, tenants can visually verify a guest’s identity through a video call before letting them in. This is a great solution to enhance security and prevent buzzer bombing, which is when a visitor buzzes every resident in the system in hopes of gaining access.
12. Easy installation and maintenance
Intercom systems for apartment buildings are meant to save you and your residents time. So, the installation and maintenance process should also be efficient. Make sure to replace your intercom with one that’s easy to install and maintain. Since there’s no in-unit hardware or wiring, wireless intercoms are the quickest and easiest to install.
13. IP65 rating
You’re most likely installing your intercom outside at the entrance to your multi-tenant building. So, choose an IP65-rated intercom.
If an intercom has an IP65 rating, you know it’s waterproof and dust-resistant. Your intercom will be protected from harsh weather conditions, which prevents you from needing another apartment intercom replacement any time soon.
When is it time for an apartment intercom replacement?
It’s definitely time for an upgrade when it’s more expensive to repair your current system than to install a new one.
For many buildings, the cost of upgrading an old intercom system pays for itself in terms of time saved and improved resident retention. Many of today’s modern intercoms offer features that significantly improve the access experience for everyone at your property, from residents to visitors to delivery drivers.
How much does it cost to install a new intercom?
It costs around $1,500 to $2,500 for an apartment buzzer replacement.
However, this cost depends on the quality of the hardware you’re buying. Costs can even go down if you install a wireless intercom that doesn’t require wiring throughout the building.
For a more accurate estimate, you can ask an installer to survey your property.
When is it time for an apartment intercom replacement?
So how do you know when it’s time to replace your apartment intercom system? The answer is simple. When it’s more expensive to repair your current system than to install a new one, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
However, it may also be worth replacing your apartment intercom if:
- Your current system frequently needs repairs
- Your current system doesn’t meet the needs of your property
- You want to enhance the resident experience or set your building apart from competitors
Many of today’s modern intercoms offer features that significantly improve the access experience for everyone at your property, from residents to visitors to delivery couriers. For many buildings, the cost of upgrading to a new intercom system pays for itself in terms of time saved and improved resident retention.
Replacing in-unit intercom hardware
Is the hardware of your intercom system still working at the front door but the in-unit components are breaking down? This is a common problem with many older intercom systems.
Outdated, wired intercoms need hardware installed inside each unit for tenants to communicate with visitors and open the door. But this hardware can stop working overtime and need replacing. You can opt to replace the device with a new one, but over time, the cost of purchasing new devices adds up. After all, if one tenant’s in-unit device is broken, chances are that others will soon break, too.
Instead of replacing your in-unit hardware, consider upgrading to a smartphone-based intercom system. These wireless intercoms use residents’ smartphones instead of in-unit hardware, so the only piece of hardware you need to install is at the front door. This saves you time and money that would be spent repairing in-unit hardware in the future.