Downtown Chicago apartments with intercom systems.


Chicago is among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. As a Chicago property owner or manager, you’re aware of just how much the Windy City has to offer. So, secure your property by installing the best access control system to empower your residents to immerse themselves in the city’s fast-paced culture. That way, residents can rest assured that their homes are safe while they’re away.

From Lakeview vintage flats to West Loop industrial buildings, Chicago is ripe with properties in need of controlled access. Learn about choosing and installing the right intercom system in Chicago.

This guide covers:


Where can you install an intercom in Chicago?

Situated in the heart of the Midwest, Chicago has a perfect intersection of urban and suburban neighborhoods. As such, many kinds of properties in Chicago need intercom systems.

Since each type of property requires different access control solutions, your property’s needs might differ from others. Therefore, you must assess your building’s unique needs before choosing a system.

Four types of properties that need intercom systems in Chicago:

  1. Gated communities
  2. Multifamily buildings
  3. Commercial properties
  4. Industrial facilities


1. Gated communities

Although Chicago is one of America’s largest metropolises, many of its 77 neighborhoods are home to gated communities. So, these neighborhoods must appeal to single-family and long-term residents who want state-of-the-art security.

By installing a gate intercom, you provide security while guaranteeing convenient property access for residents, visitors, and delivery couriers. What’s more, gate intercoms also allow residents to open gates and manage guest access remotely from their smartphone or tablet.

More specifically, video intercoms at your Chicago gated community empower residents to visually confirm the identities of guests before letting them in. Further, by installing a smart video intercom, you can see live footage of gate activities. Even more, you can also review the photos at a later time.

Choose a cloud-based system so that you can review this footage from any device connected to the internet.


2. Multifamily buildings

Chicago is a metropolitan hub filled with mid- and high-rise apartment buildings. So delivering convenient, top-notch security to your multifamily residents is paramount. Apartment building residents want the same convenient access experience as gated community residents. Luckily, you can provide this with a multi-tenant intercom system.

With a Chicago apartment intercom system, residents can speak with guests without leaving their homes. Not only that, the best multi-tenant intercom systems empower residents to grant guests access from anywhere.

What’s more, when you install a high-tech intercom system in your Chicago multifamily building, you give residents control over access management. Specifically, they can accept packages, grant access to service providers, or allow friends to visit without interrupting their (or your) routines! In fact, great modernized intercom systems give residents the autonomy to assign temporary and recurring virtual keys to visitors.


Chicago commerical space with intercom system.


3. Commercial properties

The Windy City is home to tech and business innovation in the Midwest. It’s even recently established itself as a national leader, with Forbes calling it “one of the country’s hottest cities for start-ups.”

That’s why business owners at your Chicago commercial property need a secure, streamlined, and convenient access control system. You can achieve this by installing an office intercom.

Since you likely rent to multiple businesses in one commercial building, you need a system that’ll grant access only to authorized guests. This is especially important if your commercial building has both private and public businesses. So, installing an intercom system will help restrict access to the public and give tenants control over who they let into the building.


4. Industrial facilities

Lastly, Chicago is also home to 15 planned manufacturing districts (PMDs).

These PMDs aim to:

  • Protect historical industry centers
  • Foster the industrial base
  • Diversify Chicago’s economy

As an industrial facility owner, you should install an intercom to protect PMDs. The intercom will give staff and visitors an efficient access experience. For example, guests can use the intercom installed at your Chicago industrial facility to request access.

Moreover, you can install keypads throughout your facility that integrate with the intercom. In short, an intercom will ensure guests can enter only the spaces they’re authorized to enter, which eliminates workplace safety liabilities.


Watch how ButterflyMX keypads work:


Top considerations for choosing an intercom system in Chicago

As one of the busiest cities in the country, Chicago needs access control systems that fit its properties’ unique needs. So, consider these distinctive traits when searching for an intercom system.

  While looking for an intercom system in Chicago, take into account:
Weather Chicago’s winters are some of the harshest in the country. As a result, the intercom system you choose must be IP65-rated to withstand extreme temperatures.
Security Many of Chicago’s neighborhoods center around urban communities. And because these areas have heavy foot traffic, safeguarding your property is vital. You’ll need to find an intercom that balances security and convenience.
Demographics High-rises in lively neighborhoods like River North have different intercom requirements than single-family communities like Beverly. So, carefully consider your renters’ age and family structures before investing in an intercom system in Chicago.


Chicago’s most common types of intercom systems

We’ve discussed why your Chicago property needs an intercom. Now, let’s cover the wide variety of options for intercom systems in Chicago.

Keep in mind: The type of intercom you pick will significantly impact property access for residents, guests, and staff. Because of this, you should consider many types of intercoms before purchasing one.


Multifamily residence with intercom system in Chicago.


Five common types of intercoms in Chicago:

  1. Wireless: Since Chicago has a ton of residential properties, wireless intercoms are ideal for saving time and money on installation. To put it plainly, with wireless intercoms, you don’t need to install wiring between the hardware at the entrance and each unit.
  2. Wired: Conversely, you can choose to install a wired intercom. The difference between wired vs. wireless intercoms is the connection between the base station (the hardware at the entrance) and substations (the devices tenants use to manage access). While all intercoms require some wiring, wired intercoms require more. Instead of requiring only one wire — specifically the Power over Ethernet cable to connect to the internet — wired intercoms require additional wiring throughout the entire building.
  3. Video: Video intercoms allow your tenants to video chat with visitors. This gives more security than just speaking on the phone. The best Chicago video intercom systems will keep a log of time- and date-stamped photos of every building entry.
  4. Audio: Audio-enabled intercoms allow visitors to speak with tenants inside the building. Some audio intercoms connect to door release devices, which lets the tenant grant access remotely.
  5. Cloud-based: With a cloud-based intercom, staff and residents can manage who enters the building from anywhere. For instance, staff can remotely change access permissions, and residents can grant access from anywhere in the world.


Buildings in downtown Chicago with intercom systems.


How to pick an intercom system installer in Chicago

So, you know your property needs an intercom system — now what? You need to find a good intercom installer in Chicago.

When seeking out intercom installation in Chicago, verify that the company is certified to install the system you’ve chosen. You must hire a certified installer to keep the intercom’s warranty and insurance valid. It’s also a good idea to hire an installer who can handle repairs, too.

Here’s how to find the best intercom system installer in Chicago:

  1. Browse social media: Don’t be afraid to ask around! Ask your connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, or even community boards like Nextdoor if they’ve got stellar recommendations. What’s more: On LinkedIn, you can read a list of companies that installers have worked with, giving you a sense of their experience.
  2. Read up on reviews: It’s simple – but it’s reliable. Consumer reviews on Google and Yelp give you great insight into installers’ speed, efficacy, and reliability.
  3. Seek out trusted industry resources: Local real estate publications — such as Bisnow Chicago and Chicago Real Estate Daily — offer great insight into the intercom market. Use those resources to read about local real estate experts and connect with fellow real estate professionals on forums.


find a certified access control installer in Chicago


The best intercom system in Chicago

In conclusion, you should choose ButterflyMX as your Chicago property’s access control provider. Since introducing the smart video intercom in 2015, ButterflyMX has been empowering people to manage property access from anywhere on their smartphones. 

As a giant step up from outdated door buzzer systems, ButterflyMX’s video intercom simplifies property access while amplifying security.


  Top benefits of installing ButterflyMX at your Chicago property:
Access PINs Don’t worry if a resident forgets their phone! They’ll each have a unique PIN to gain access.
Video calling Through video chatting, residents can visually confirm guests’ identities before granting them access, which adds another level of security.
Upgraded security The ButterflyMX smart video intercom system takes a date- and time-stamped photo of every entry event. Additionally, you can view these audits in the ButterflyMX OS at any time.
Virtual keys Virtual keys are unique QR codes that visitors can scan to enter your property.
Tenant directories Visitors without virtual keys can simply search a resident or company name to call a tenant directly. They can also call tenants by searching for a unit number.
Smartphone-based access The ButterflyMX mobile app eliminates the need for keys by empowering residents to open doors and gates from their smartphones! What’s more, they also can remotely grant access to guests.


Chicago has hundreds of the 10,000 buildings that simplify property access with ButterflyMX. And Chicago property owners and managers account for many of our 20,000+ five-star reviews.


Here’s what a Chicago client had to say about our intercom system:

“I have witnessed the ButterflyMX system working at multifamily properties in Chicago, and I must say I am very impressed. The support team has been phenomenal, providing video calls to our onsite staff, answering every question with real answers, and getting them ready for the changes to come.”


if you want the best access control system in Chicago, choose ButterflyMX


Katie Kistler

I’m a real estate fanatic based in Texas who loves discovering and writing about innovations in property technology.