Looking to upgrade your apartment call box? Improve building security for your multifamily property? Simplify visitor access? In this article, we review the most popular apartment call box systems. Some building call box systems work using a telephone lines. Newer call box system utilize an internet connection to make video and VOIP calls to residents’ phone. These call boxes can be installed as a front door intercom or a gate intercom for gated communities.
Swiftlane provides a call box for apartments that can make video calls to a resident’s phone. Aside from video calls, it also supports regular telephone calls to cell phones and landlines. This is useful for residents who do not carry a smart phone. Swiftlane combines visitor intercom with touchless entry options for residents, through access methods like face unlock, mobile app access, key fob access and garage access. Swiftlane apartment intercom enables a cutting edge face unlock functionality for residents.
Swiftlane – Visitor Access
Visitors can gain access through the following means:
- Select a tenant from a multi-tenant directory and start a video or audio call
- Mobile app based apartment buzzer system
- Call a leasing office or a onsite or local front desk staff
- Delivery drivers can type a assigned PIN into a keypad to enter the building for package delivery (this stores a photo log for auditing)
- Visitors, Amazon drivers, DoorDash food delivery people can be given a one time PIN that can open doors only for 5 min and then automatically stop working
- Residents can receive intercom calls as a video call. They can also provide a phone number, and receive a regular telephone call. This call can be made to a cell phone or a landline. Both approaches allow the resident to use their phone as a door buzzer to remotely let someone in.
- Property Management system integration with Yardi, Realpage and Entrata
Swiftlane – Resident Access
Swiftlane provides many building access methods for residents. Each resident can choose the method of access they prefer, without forcing them to choose specific options. This meets the preferences for every resident.
- Use the mobile app to enter the building
- Use face unlock to open doors with just your face. Enroll from the app and then unlock doors using face unlock
- Unique PIN can be given to each resident
- Key fobs and key card access
Hardware: Swiftlane video intercom costs between $1200-$1800, depending on the model of the hardware being used.
Software Fees: Depending on the feature set, Swiftlane can be purchased with an ongoing subscription starting at $35/month, or with no ongoing costs.
Durability: Swiftreader X has the highest impact resistance rating of IK10. Swiftreader has an IK07 rating and less durable that the X.
- One way and two way video intercom call
- Remote door unlock
- Touchless Door Unlock using your Face
- Mobile app for remote and bluetooth door access
- Key fob and Key Card Access
- Elevator, Garage and Package Room Access
- Visitor Temporary Pins and Delivery Access
- Photo log of every visitor for auditing and higher security
- Highest IK10 impact resistance rating to prevent damage from vandalism
Doorking Telephone Line Call box
Doorking is a long known brand in telephone call boxes. Doorking provides call boxes that can run using a telephone line or cellular connection to make audio calls to residents. Doorking call boxes support regular telephone line calls. Typically, the Doorking system costs between $50-$100 per intercom call box per month to run the landline or cellular system. Doorking telephone entry system can also be run using an internet connection, by making VOIP calls. Telephone entry systems are depending on telephone landline connections that are going away and getting more expensive, as telephone companies shutter that line of business.
Warning – Doorking intercoms have known security issues and are easy to hack. You can read up on how package thieves are breaking into buildings by bypassing the Doorking intercom security.
- Telephone based audio intercom
- Support 256 area codes that can be programmed
- Cellular based connectivity option available
- Can work with an internet line for an additional monthly fee to make VOIP audio calls
- Postal switch input to connect postal lock box
- No video calling
- No ability to view logs remotely, requires local IP based connection or port forwarding
- No photo logs
ButterflyMX Video Intercom
ButterflyMX is a manufacturer of video intercom systems in the US. ButterflyMX intercom makes a push notification video call to a resident, to allow communication between a resident and a visitor.
How much does ButterflyMX Cost?
ButterflyMX makes many intercom panels. Cheapest butterflymx panel costs $2995 and as high as $7500.
ButterflyMX subscription pricing costs around $35-$40 per resident per year. e.g. For a 200 unit building, this would be $8000 a year.
- Push notification based video intercom to a mobile app
- Remotely open the gates with the mobile app
- Generate QR codes that can be given to delivery people and visitors
- Store photo audit logs for visitors
- ButterflyMX des not provide key fob access. If you need key fob or elevator access, Butterfly works with third party companies like Pro Data Key for access. This may require two different providers and two subscriptions.
Types of Call Box Systems
Video Intercom Call Box
Modern Video intercom systems like Swiftlane provide higher security and safety than audio only systems. E.g. The resident can see a video of the person at the door, and verify that it’s a delivery driver, and buzz them in remotely. These systems often run on an internet connection, that can be provided by the building or through a cellular connection on the call box.
Telephone Line Call Box
Audio intercoms like DoorKing provide audio intercom, that use a telephone line to make a phone call to the resident. The resident receives a phone call, chats with the visitor, and then presses a key (often 9) to release the door.
In-Unit Buzzer systems
Traditional systems provide a wired connection from the visitor callbox at the front of the building, to individual apartment units inside each building. When the visitor selects a unit number, it dials a local audio call to the person inside the unit, they can chat and remotely buzz the person through a key press.