Multi Tenant Intercom Systems


When visiting a single-family home, you knock on the door or ring the doorbell to let residents know you’ve arrived. But what about when you’re visiting a building with multiple units? That’s where a multi-tenant intercom system comes in.

Multi-tenant intercoms are building entry systems that grant access to guests, provide seamless entry for tenants, and help property staff maintain security. Since every building has visitors, tenants, and staff, every building needs a multi-tenant intercom system.

Read on to discover what these systems are, how they work, and the benefits of installing them in any building with multiple tenants.

In this post, you’ll learn:


What is a multi tenant intercom system?

A multi-tenant intercom system is electronic hardware that allows building tenants to communicate with visitors and grant them property access. Installed at the entrance of a building, this system includes a microphone, speaker, and often a camera. All types of properties can benefit from using a multi-unit intercom including apartment, commercial, and industrial buildings.

Though multi tenant intercom systems were invented more than 100 years ago, they remain one of the best tools for granting building entry to visitors. In fact, they’re so effective at managing property access that many additions have been made to these intercoms over the years — making today’s multi-tenant entry systems more powerful than ever.

Today’s entry systems connect to the internet, provide live video, offer a smartphone app, and even integrate with access control and property management systems.


Features of modern multi-tenant video intercom systems

  • Enhance building security through live video and time- and date-stamped entry photos.
  • Improve convenience by enabling tenants and staff to open doors from their smartphones.
  • Enable offsite and remote property management through an online dashboard where managers can review, grant, and revoke access.
  • Reduce installation and maintenance costs by eliminating the need for additional building wiring and hardware.
  • Ensure visitor entry and package delivery by providing single-use and recurring delivery PINs.
  • Eliminate the need to maintain multiple databases through integrations with solutions such as property management software and access control systems.



How does a multi tenant intercom work?

When a visitor needs to enter a multi-unit building, they use a multi-tenant intercom. First, the visitor looks up the tenant on the intercom’s directory and pushes a button to call them. The intercom then places a call to the tenant, notifying them of their visitor. Finally, the tenant picks up the call, speaks with the visitor, and grants them entry into the building.

In order to grant building entry to the visitor, the intercom system must have a door release device. Common door release devices include electronic and magnetic locks, which allow tenants to remotely unlock the door for visitors.


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Types of buildings that benefit from multi-tenant intercoms


Apartment buildings


multi-tenant intercom system for apartments


With 21.9 million apartment units in the U.S., apartment intercoms are the most common type of multi-tenant intercom systems.

Apartment intercoms allow residents to communicate with visitors and grant them property access. They also enable property owners and managers to easily grant or deny access from a smartphone or computer.

In recent years, many of these intercom systems have become wireless. Wireless intercom systems for apartment buildings reduce the need for additional installation, hardware, and maintenance — which are often the most expensive components of getting a new apartment intercom for your building.




multi-tenant intercom for commercial office building


Commercial properties are often overlooked when considering a multi-tenant entry system. However, commercial buildings have tenants, staff, and visitors, too.

Most commercial buildings rely on just an access control system to manage entry into their property. But access control systems aren’t designed to provide visitor access because they lack a way for visitors to call individual tenants within the building.

In addition, modern office buildings are seeing more visitor traffic than ever before — thanks to the flood of on-demand services created by the gig economy. Today’s offices now have food deliveries, office supplies, and cleaning people coming at all times of the day.




multi-tenant intercom system for condo or co-op


The difference between apartments and condos/co-ops is ownership. While apartments are rented, condos/co-ops are owned. This small but significant difference means that condo residents, owners, and managers have distinct needs regarding intercom systems for their condominium buildings.

For example, tenant turnover isn’t a major concern for condo buildings since owners don’t buy or sell their residences often. However, ensuring visitor entry and package delivery is extremely important because this is not just where they live — it’s their home. Having a multi-tenant IP intercom ensures that residents never miss a delivery or visitor because they can remotely open and manage doors from their smartphones.


Student housing


multi-unit intercom system for student housing


With nearly 5,300 colleges in the U.S., housing all of these students is a big business. Just like apartments and commercial buildings, student-residents get guests and deliveries, too. And they also need a way to manage property access for these visitors.

However, unlike other buildings, student housing has nearly 100% turnover year-over-year since student-residents graduate and move on with their lives. Also, there are often significant security concerns (these are young adults, after all).

The right multi-tenant entry system can solve these challenges by offering integrations with property management software for automatic directory updates. What’s more, multi-tenant video intercom systems provide student housing residents and staff with the security of knowing who they’re letting into the property.


Gated properties


Wireless Gate Intercoms


When it comes to gated communities, choosing a wireless intercom system is key.

Gated properties usually have driveways, which creates an installation challenge for the intercom system. Ripping up asphalt, running wiring, and repaving the street is expensive. A better option is to choose a wireless apartment intercom system that relies on a cellular connection (4/5G) or WiFi.

Modern wireless multi-tenant IP intercoms still offer the same functionality as a traditional wired intercom system without the need to run additional wiring. In addition, the right gate intercom system can reduce the need for a full-time gate attendant to vet visitors and grant them access to the property.


Industrial facilities


wireless commercial intercom at industrial building


Warehouses, self-storage, and manufacturing are all examples of facilities that fall under the umbrella of industrial.

These types of properties house valuable products, belongings, and raw materials. They also need to provide convenient and verified access to various parties such as truckers, customers, and employees.

Currently, industrial buildings rely on a patchwork of people and processes to review a person’s credentials and provide access to all or some of the facilities. Using the right multi-tenant intercom can help streamline this process by allowing visitors to authenticate access while recording their entry into the property. With QR codes, delivery PINs, and live video, facility managers can rest assured that only the right people are accessing their building.


Improve your property with a multi-tenant intercom system

Whether you manage an apartment building, own an office complex, or serve as president of your HOA board, one crucial part of your job is managing access into and within your building.

Managing access is crucial not only to maintain building security, but also to provide seamless guest access, ensure package deliveries, and deliver an exceptional tenant experience. Installing a multi-tenant intercom system is one simple step you can take to drastically improve how people live or work in your building.

When purchasing an intercom, you want a system that’s reliable, easy to install, and simple to use. ButterflyMX is the leading multi-tenant intercom on the market, making property access simple for apartments, offices, gated communities, student housing, and industrial buildings. With more than 7,000 five-star reviews and 7,500 successful installations, you can count on ButterflyMX.


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Jon Tamn

I enjoy writing about real estate, property management, and proptech. I live and work in New York City.