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Apartment Door Buzzer Systems- 19 Essential Tips for Upgrading

If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’re in the process of upgrading your apartment or condo building’s door buzzer system. With technology constantly evolving, it’s not surprising that the 20-year-old buzzer system you have in place may no longer meet the needs of your residents or staff. As you research different options, it can be overwhelming to navigate the numerous features and capabilities available in today’s door buzzer systems. This blog aims to help simplify the process by highlighting the key factors to consider when upgrading your door buzzer system. The following information will benefit you in your apartment door buzzer buying journey, so that you can make an informed decision that will ensure the safety and security of your building for years to come.

active video intercom call

Why Apartment Buildings are Looking to Upgrade Their Apartment Buzzers

Apartment and condo buildings may be seeking a door buzzer upgrade for several reasons. Firstly, most traditional door buzzers are either wired buzzers that go from the front door to each apartment unit, or telephone line-based systems that use a telephone line to make audio calls. These systems are becoming outdated and are facing issues such as skyrocketing landline costs, failing units, and a lack of security features. Secondly, there is a growing concern about package theft, with porch pirates pretending to be delivery drivers and gaining access to the building. Thirdly, current buzzer systems lack an audit trail and the ability to remotely unlock doors, making it difficult for residents to verify who is at their door. Finally, many buildings are looking for a way to visually verify visitors and increase the safety and security of their building occupants, making a door buzzer upgrade an attractive solution.

Top Tips for Upgrading Your Apartment Door Buzzers

1. Consider Moving Away from Telephone Line-Based Systems

  • Most traditional door buzzers were wired buzzers that went from the front door to each apartment unit, or a telephone line based system.
  • However, many apartment and condo residents are finding that telephone line-based systems are becoming increasingly costly and unreliable.
  • Telephone companies are shutting down the landline business resulting in unpredictable and rising telephone line costs
Linear Intercom
telephone-line based system

2. Look for a Video Intercom System

  • Most new systems are video intercoms, which provide a more secure and convenient way to verify visitors.
  • Video intercom systems also provide mobile app-based door intercom calls, allowing residents to easily communicate with visitors from their smartphones.

3. Ensure Calls Come in as Full-Blown Calls

  • It is important to check that calls from the intercom system come in as full-blown calls, rather than just push notifications.
  • This will ensure that residents don’t miss any important calls from visitors.

4. Check for Common Area Internet Connection Requirements

  • A modern video intercom system may require a common area internet connection, which may cost an additional $100-$150 per month.
  • However, it is important to check if the video intercom company provides cell-based plans, which may be significantly cheaper than getting wired internet for the common area.

5. Ensure System Has Cell Backup

  • It is also important to ensure that the video intercom system provides cell backup to the internet in case the primary internet goes down.
  • This will ensure that residents can still communicate with visitors even if there is an internet outage.

6. Choose a Vandal-Resistant System

  • To prevent unexpected costs, it is important to choose a video intercom system with hardware that is vandal-resistant.
  • IK ratings can be used to check for vandal protection, with 1 being the least vandal protected and 10 being the highest.

Check out Swiftlane products in action

7. Support for Residents without Smartphones

  • Even though most residents now want video intercoms, there may be a small number of residents who do not have a smartphone or are not tech-savvy.
  • It is important to choose a system that supports fallback to a telephone line call so that these residents can still use the intercom system.

8. Check Available Access Options for Residents

  • Modern intercoms like Swiftlane provide not only visitor communication but also resident access options such as face recognition touchless access and the ability to use a mobile app to open doors.
  • It is important to check what access options are available and if they meet the needs of your building’s residents.

9. Integration with Amazon Key for Business and USPS Key-boxes

  • Many buildings are using Amazon Key for business for access, so it is important to look for a system that can easily integrate with Amazon Key for business.
  • This will allow residents to easily manage access for visitors and delivery drivers.
  • USPS provides key lock boxes for many buildings and ensure that your new system is compatible with USPS key box or handles USPS delivery effectively

10. Compatibility with Existing Key Fob System

  • If your building has an existing key fob system, it is important to look for a system that can easily sit alongside the current system.
  • This will allow residents to continue using their key fobs without any issues.

11. Call Multiple Tenants in Parallel

  • It is important to ensure that the video intercom system allows calling multiple tenants inside a unit in parallel.
  • This is often necessary because all members of a unit, such as couples, may want to receive calls at the same time.

12. Reverse Intercom Calls

Reverse intercom call is a feature that allows you to call a visitor who recently called you and you were unable to pick up. This feature is important as it enables you to easily call back a visitor if you missed their call. Look for a system that offers this feature to provide the best level of convenience for your residents.

13. Keep Your Building’s Aesthetics in Mind

The appearance of your building’s door buzzer system is important, not only for the look of the building but also for the overall value. Check if the company is capable of covering up the existing intercom box or opening, since older products can be very large and may leave an ugly opening in the wall. Make sure the company provides cover plates and makes the new system look good and integrate seamlessly into your building.

14. Display Name Customization is Important

The display names feature allows residents to customize their display names on the intercom system. It is important to be able to show full names, initials or just unit numbers for each resident. Look for a system that allows for easy customization of the display names to meet the needs of your residents.

15. Food and Grocery Delivery

Food and grocery delivery services have become an indispensable part of modern day life, especially in apartment and condo buildings where residents may not always have the time or ability to leave the building to go grocery shopping. An upgrade to your door buzzer system should provide a secure and efficient way of receiving food and grocery deliveries, without compromising the security of your building. One way of ensuring this is by having a feature that allows single use PINs to be given to delivery drivers, which automatically deactivate after being first used. This eliminates the risk of leaked access to the building and ensures that only authorized personnel have access to the building.

16. Remote Management

The management of your door buzzer system is an important aspect to consider when upgrading. Look for a system that can be managed remotely from any web browser, without requiring an onsite server or computer. This will allow you to make changes and manage the system easily and efficiently.

17. Over the Air Updates

Technology is constantly evolving, and it is important to keep your door buzzer system up to date. Look for a system that is capable of receiving new software features remotely over the air, without requiring you to pay for software licenses to upgrade. This will ensure that your system always has the latest features and provides the best level of security and convenience for your residents.

18. Integration with Apartment Property Management Systems

Finally, consider the integration of your door buzzer system with apartment property management systems. This integration can automate access management for the building, saving you time and effort. Look for a system that integrates with apartment property management systems to provide the best level of convenience and security for your residents.

Swiftlane video intercom provides all of these modern features and more, offering a top-notch door buzzer solution for your apartment or condo building. If you are looking to upgrade your current door buzzer system, or if you have any questions, please reach out to us at Swiftlane. We will be happy to provide more information and help you find the right solution for your building.

19. Data Security

One of the most important concerns for any building management is ensuring the security of residents’ personal data. With a modern door buzzer system like Swiftlane video intercom, building management can rest assured that resident data is secure. Swiftlane implements the latest encryption and secure data storage practices to ensure that all resident data is protected from potential cyber threats. This includes secure storage of video footage from intercom sessions, access logs, and any other sensitive information. Building management can have peace of mind knowing that their residents’ data is protected with a secure and reliable intercom system.

Benefits of Upgrading your Apartment Door Buzzer System

Improved Access Control for Residents

Another benefit of upgrading to a modern door buzzer system like Swiftlane video intercom is improved access control. With features like remote buzz-in, building management can have greater control over who is able to enter the building. This helps to reduce security risks and ensures that only authorized residents, guests, and service personnel are able to access the building. In addition, the ability to remotely unlock doors makes it easier for residents to let in guests, delivery personnel, and service personnel without having to physically be at the door.

Enhanced Convenience and Communication

Swiftlane video intercom provides enhanced convenience and communication for both building management and residents. With features like call forwarding and remote unlocking, residents no longer have to physically be at the door to let in guests or service personnel. In addition, the intercom’s video capabilities allow residents to easily communicate with visitors, even if they are not at home. This helps to improve the overall communication and convenience for residents, and helps to streamline the process of letting visitors into the building.

If you’re looking to learn more about Swiftlane video intercom, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you determine if Swiftlane video intercom is the right fit for your building.


In conclusion, upgrading your apartment door buzzer system is a necessary step to enhance the safety and security of your building occupants. With the current technology advancements, the video intercom systems have proven to be the best choice in addressing the common issues of traditional wired buzzers and telephone line systems. One such video intercom system that provides all the modern features, including mobile app based door intercom calls, full-blown calls, common area internet connection, cell backup, fallback to telephone line call, access options, data security, and customization of display names, is Swiftlane video intercom. If you’re looking to learn more about Swiftlane video intercom and upgrade your building door buzzer system, please reach out to us.

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