The best door buzzer system.

 

Key takeaways

  • The best door buzzer system that’s a modern solution is ButterflyMX.
  • Door buzzer systems allow visitors to buzz a tenant’s unit to let them know of their arrival.
  • The three types of door buzzer systems are apartment door buzzers, commercial door buzzers, and gated buzzers.
  • Video intercoms are better than door buzzer systems in many ways, such as user experience, integration support, and greater security features.

 

One of the most common building entry systems is the apartment buzzer system. You’ve probably seen building residents “buzzing in” their guests in movies, television, or even your day-to-day life. And if you develop, own, manage, or live in a multi-tenant property, you might even have a door buzzer system in your building.

In this guide, we detail the best door buzzer systems available, including solutions you may not have considered. We also discuss the pros and cons of using them in apartments, offices, and other buildings. Finally, you’ll discover why some alternatives are better solutions, such as video intercoms.

Navigate this guide:

 

ButterflyMX CTA

 

5 best door buzzer systems

The best door buzzer to purchase will depend on the demands of your unique property type. For instance, you’ll want to consider whether your property is commercial or residential. Additionally, the best door buzzer will depend on the volume of daily users that your property sees.

With that said, we’ve helped you narrow down your options to the five best door buzzer systems:

  1. ButterflyMX
  2. Visionis Tech
  3. ZDL-IPW101W
  4. Maglocks
  5. Doorking

 

1. ButterflyMX

For a modern, future-proof door entry system, ButterflyMX is the best.

ButterflyMX is a cloud-based access control company that’s been installed in more than 10,000 buildings and garnered more than 20,000 five-star reviews.

While not traditional, the ButterflyMX video intercom system offers not only the essential functionalities of a door buzzer system but also a slew of other features that benefit your apartment or office building.

 

ButterflyMX’s video intercom benefits

  • Mobile app. Using the ButterflyMX mobile app, you and your tenants can open doors and gates with a smartphone from anywhere — which means you won’t miss visitors or deliveries. As a result, tenants are happier with the level of convenience your property offers.
  • Video calling. The video intercom’s camera enables video calling, so you or tenants can see who’s requesting access before letting them inside, enhancing security at your property and giving peace of mind.
  • Built-in camera. The 156° wide-angle camera takes time- and date-stamped photos of door entry events that are stored in a log. This way, you gain better insight into the people entering your property and better identify potential security risks. Plus, you can better respond to security breaches when you can review past entry logs.
  • Wireless. You don’t have to run wiring or install in-unit hardware because tenants use their smartphones instead. So, choosing a system that utilizes the cloud can reduce installation costs and time.
  • Integrations. Video intercoms integrate with the other proptech you’re using, such as smart locks, property management software, and access control systems. Centralizing all of your proptech in one place will streamline workflows and free your staff up for more critical tasks.
  • Remote management. You can manage the system from anywhere using cloud-based software instead of going onsite to make changes manually. This way, you can employ a remote team to manage your property or manage multiple properties at once without ever stepping foot on them.

 

Watch how the ButterflyMX video intercom works:

 

2. Visionis Tech

Visionis Tech is an access control company offering a wide range of door entry and security solutions. When it comes to a door buzzer system, Visionis offers an electromagnetic lock kit with a wireless receiver and remote. Visitors must wait for someone with a receiver to buzz them in after requesting access. Then, the user with the remote can press a button to let them inside.

This system is ideal for a single entryway to a business or office. While the system does support up to 50 different remotes at a time, they have a limited range of 160 feet. If you want a system that your tenants can also use, you’ll need to find a more robust solution.

 

3. ZDL-IPW101W

The ZDL-IPW101W large-screen home intercom system is a wired intercom system that can support up to 99 different rooms. If your building has more units, you’ll need a system capable of supporting a greater number. Moreover, this intercom includes indoor monitors, a door camera, motion detection, and more.

Using in-unit hardware, residents can see visitors and remotely unlock the main entryway to grant them access. ZDL also offers a mobile app that enables users to let in guests remotely. It’s important to note that the ZDL intercom system is not designed for larger properties. Rather, it’s best suited for single-family homes and small businesses.

 

4. Maglocks

Maglocks’ single-door remote buzz-in kit is a suitable door buzzer system for waiting rooms, medical offices, pawn shops, salons, and other small businesses. Users operate the system by clicking the door buzzer. Then, a staff member with the receiver releases the door lock, allowing them into the building. Overall, the system is best suited for reception areas since it only supports a single entryway.

 

5. Doorking

Doorking’s 1837 intercom system is a popular door entry solution. This telephone entry system is one of Doorking’s flagship products, known for its rugged and durable design. The intercom uses a typical phone line, meaning you’ll need to hardwire your system.

Despite the model you choose, they operate the same. When a guest arrives at the building’s entrance, they use the intercom to call the unit they are visiting. Then, residents answer via wired, in-unit hardware. From this hardware, the residents can speak with visitors before pressing a button to let the visitors inside.

 

Types of door buzzer systems

A door buzzer is a common property access solution that’s used in buildings across industries.

Door buzzer systems are primarily installed in apartment buildings and commercial buildings:

 

Apartment door buzzers

An apartment door buzzer is a building entry system designed for multifamily properties that enables staff and residents to manage visitor access and open the door or gate remotely.

Door buzzer systems for apartments provide a simple way for guests to contact a resident and let them know they’ve arrived. Residents use apartment buzzers to open the door for their guests. However, residents must use their in-unit hardware to remotely grant access, which means they must be in their apartment unit to use the system.

In addition, property staff can use the apartment door buzzer to grant access to prospects for self-guided tours. A building with front desk staff or onsite leasing agents can also open the door for service providers, vendors, and other visitors. However, one potential drawback for property staff is that many buzzer systems can’t be managed remotely. As a result, staff may have to go onsite to update the resident directory and adjust access permissions.

Although most apartment buzzer systems don’t have a camera, some do. Buzzer systems with a camera offer video calling capabilities. However, most only offer one-way video — which means residents can see visitors, but visitors can’t see residents.

 

Listen to a door buzzer system:

 

2. Commercial door buzzers

Commercial door buzzer systems are found in office buildings and other commercial properties. They enable tenants inside the building to communicate with visitors at the building’s entrance and grant them access by pressing an ‘open door’ button.

Commercial doorbell buzzer systems aren’t ideal for office buildings — especially offices with an open floor plan — because they require in-unit hardware. If you wanted to give every employee in the building the ability to grant remote access, you’d need to install several devices throughout the building.

Many commercial buildings with an office door buzzer system only enable visitors to “buzz” a front desk or building staff. In these cases, a visitor can’t directly contact a specific employee.

 

3. Gate buzzer system

A gate buzzer system is used as a property access solution primarily for gated communities, but other gated properties may also benefit. Located at the property’s front gate, gate buzzer systems allow visitors to easily access a gated property without tenants having to leave their units. As a result, guests and delivery drivers have an easier time accessing the property without causing a line of vehicles at the gate.

Unfortunately, installing a gate buzzer system can be extremely costly. The process of running wires to the gate and each individual unit significantly increases the cost of installation. So, it’s best to choose a gate entry system that is wireless. That way, your gated property can benefit from a gate access solution without a lofty price tag.

 

Pros & cons of door buzzer systems

Door buzzer systems are popular building entry solutions, but are they the best option? Below, we outline the pros and cons of a door buzzer system.

 

Pros:

  • Gives tenants the ability to grant access without going downstairs or leaving their apartment.
  • Provides a way for visitors to notify tenants of their arrival and request property access.
  • In some cases, buzzers save time for building or front desk staff because visitors can request access directly from a tenant.

 

Cons:

  • Buzzer systems require extensive wiring, which is costly and difficult to install.
  • You’ll need hardware in every unit throughout the building, which is expensive to purchase and install.
  • Maintenance is difficult because the system requires wiring and in-unit hardware. All these components make the system more prone to maintenance issues.
  • Door buzzers often lead to building buzzer bombing, which is when a visitor buzzes every person in the intercom, hoping someone will let them in.
  • Tenants must be in their unit to open the door or gate remotely, which can lead to missed visitors and deliveries.
  • Door buzzers don’t come with a mobile app, so tenants can’t unlock the door with their smartphones.
  • No video calling, so tenants can’t visually confirm who they’re letting into the building.
  • Door buzzers lack modern features and functionality, such as virtual keys for visitors, delivery passes, and door release logs.
  • Many door buzzer systems require staff to go onsite to update the tenant directory.
  • Door buzzers are outdated and do little to improve the tenant experience or boost resident retention.

 

Why video intercoms are a better alternative

As we hinted at earlier, video intercoms are better alternatives to buzzer systems because of their superior design and features.

More specifically, video intercoms are better in the following ways:

  • Two-way communication. Unlike buzzer systems, video intercoms allow residents and guests to communicate better with each other. They support two-way audio and two-way video calling, which gives residents peace of mind when granting visitors access.
  • Remote access. Buzzer systems don’t let you grant access remotely because of their hardwiring. Video intercoms use the cloud to store data and grant access, enabling you and your tenants to grant access remotely, no matter where you are in the world.
  • Integrations. Video intercoms are capable of integrating with numerous other smart technologies, such as management software, smart locks, cameras, and elevators. Therefore, you can create a holistic access control solution that operates throughout your property. Such capabilities are costly and difficult with traditional door buzzer systems.
  • User experience. Video intercoms are generally a modern door entry solution, meaning they are naturally more user-friendly than door buzzer systems. The combination of two-way communication, touchscreens, and mobile apps makes video intercoms approachable for most users.
  • Greater security. Intercoms are equipped with enhanced security features that most buzzer systems lack, such as motion detection, built-in cameras, audit logs, and security camera integrations.

 

What is the difference between a door buzzer and an intercom system?

The difference between a door buzzer entry system and an intercom system is the capabilities each solution provides to a property.

Overall, door buzzers are severely limited in their functionality because they require in-unit hardware. Conversely, modern intercom systems, also known as smart buzzer systems, pair with residents’ smartphones to allow them to manage visitors’ access. These systems are packed with helpful features to increase security and convenience among tenants.

The features of a door buzzer entry system are severely limited compared to a ButterflyMX intercom system:

Feature Door buzzer system ButterflyMX intercom system
Guest arrival notification Yes Yes
Two-way audio Yes Yes
Resident directory Yes Yes
Remote access Yes Yes
Video calls No Yes
Time- & date-stamped photo entries No Yes
Audit log No Yes
integrations No Yes
Delivery management No Yes

 

As you can see, intercom systems provide greater value to multi-tenant properties than any door buzzer entry system. The features listed above are only a fraction of what modern video intercom systems can provide.

 

Door buzzer system FAQs

 

How much does a door buzzer cost?

A door buzzer system costs anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 for the hardware. The exact price depends on the system you choose and its features.

However, remember that these estimates don’t include the cost of installation and possible maintenance fees. The cost of door buzzer system installation varies because installers set their own pricing. Buzzer systems require in-unit hardware and lots of wiring, so costs add up quickly. You should always request a quote from a certified installer to make sure you’re getting a good price from a trusted professional.

 

How do you install a doorbell buzzer?

Door buzzer installation requires a sizeable budget and careful planning. Installing door buzzer systems can be tricky because they require in-unit hardware and lots of wiring. As a result, costs add up quickly. Additionally, the installation project can be long and challenging.

Here’s what to consider when installing a door buzzer system:

  • Pick reliable hardware: You’ll need to install hardware at the main entrance and within every unit throughout the building. Always opt for a system that has durable hardware. Otherwise, if your hardware breaks or malfunctions, you might have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars repairing or replacing it.
  • Don’t forget about wiring needs: Installing door buzzer systems generally requires running wiring from the main device at the building’s entrance throughout the building to every in-unit device. So, you’ll need to budget for both the price of wiring and the cost of installing it. Note that laying wiring may require opening walls and ripping up floors.
  • Hire a great installer: Since your buzzer system probably requires a lot of wiring, you should hire a knowledgeable and trusted installer to handle the job. Keep in mind that the process could take several days if not many weeks.

 

How do you buzz open a door?

The type of in-unit hardware the system uses determines how you buzz open a door for a guest.

For those with a panel in their unit, press the button labeled with the word “door” or with the key icon. This will unlock the door for the visitor requesting access.

If a phone is used to speak with the guest, you can buzz open the door by pressing the number “9” on the keypad.

 

Get your quote

Profile image for Jeff Granger

Author

Jeff Granger

I'm a native Texan and tech guru who is fascinated by technology's impact on the real estate industry.