On September 30, 2021, the United States Senate confirmed Rohit Chopra as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Mr. Chopra helped establish the CFPB following its creation through the Dodd-Frank Act and served as an Assistant Director at the CFPB from 2010 to 2015. Director Chopra will likely continue the CFPB’s focus on institutions’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on the housing, small business lending, and mortgages among other things. Pillsbury colleagues Brian H. Montgomery, Craig J. Saperstein, Deborah S. Thoren-Peden, JiJi Park, The Honorable William Lacy Clay Jr., Yvette Puckett Cravins, and Daniel C. Wood explain additional insights in Senate Confirms Rohit Chopra as CFPB Director.
A first for commercial real estate occurs, proptech sees a significant increase in venture capital funding, the Victorian government shuts down all construction sites after protests turn violent, and more. Continue Reading ›
“Smart Construction” is a loose term but generally refers to the development and use of processes and applications that improve construction planning and the management of projects (thereby potentially streamlining costs of construction).
The increased deployment of collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx) and other cloud-based technology solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic will invariably result in more efficient project management in construction going forward. These type of efficiencies are sorely needed, especially as the industry is trying to recover from supply chain issues, lockdown challenges and social distancing requirements resulting from the pandemic.
The common connotation of AI related to cybersecurity relates to technology infrastructure; however, such systems underpin a wide variety of applications to enhance cyber defenses more generally. Physical security, for example, is important as potential intruders can use in-person ways to gain access to corporate networks. This is particularly important to some sectors—such as real estate—in light of the rise of smart cities that rely on technologies such as facial recognition and various sensors.
Pillsbury has published a new research report that seeks to illuminate the important role artificial intelligence stands to play in defending against cyberattacks and data leaks. Titled “Artificial Intelligence & Cybersecurity: Balancing Innovation, Execution and Risk” and written by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the 22-page report uses extensive research and expert interviews to examine how AI can help strengthen cybersecurity, how the growing need for data to train AI systems is intensifying concerns around privacy, and how companies can anticipate risk.
The commercial real estate industry is increasingly adopting proptech to unearth savings and business insights. But companies need to be careful. Security and privacy are two foundational components of a successful data analytics initiative. Ensuring the information is stored securely while adhering to the complex framework of privacy laws will be instrumental to a real estate organization’s success with data. Why? If the information is not kept safe or is used contrary to law or the commitments a business has made to consumers, companies will face fines, regulatory investigations and customer ire.
In our previous post we discussed the importance of conducting a thorough due diligence and procurement process with smart technology providers. Next up? The contract.
The price of a procured product is always important, but equally important are other contractual terms that reflect the commercial agreement. Ultimately, the contract should answer the fundamental question of “What are you buying?” The product itself is not the only feature being purchased. A customer is also buying certainty, service performance, risk mitigation, flexibility, security, compliance, and other similar “intangible” items of value.
Outfitting a commercial real estate space with smart technology can be a significant cost. While the long-term benefits and strategic improvements we’ve discussed previously can make that investment worthwhile, the evaluation period is critical to ensure an impactful ROI. Property developers, owners, and managers should undertake a rigorous evaluation process to ensure the technology procurement aligns with the project’s overall financial plan. And this is not just about getting the cost right. If the technology does not meet the needs of the space, then all the smart technology in the world will not prevent the project from being a sunk cost.
On May 1, Texas began Phase I of its economic reopening, permitting certain businesses to begin operating again. Many states have since followed. As state governors look to continue to reopen with additional safety precautions in place, several (including California, Kansas, Texas, Ohio and Delaware) have implemented rules that require the use of face coverings in public places when social distancing is not an option, which includes work places. COVID-19-related orders have impacted construction projects statewide, though many states are reopening and construction projects are getting underway again, if their progress was even affected in the first place.