“It’s been great actually. A lot of businesses have been affected by Covid, but fortunately for us, it was great,” said founder and Chief Executive Mokhtar “MJ” Jabli. “We had great demand for short-term space. People wanted to quarantine and stay near their family.”
The Beverly Hills-based company has cemented itself as a leader in the high-end, short-term rental market.
Nightfall Group has more than 40,200 Instagram followers, and it uses the platform as a promotional tool, interspersing images of mansions — from Topanga Canyon to Mykonos, Greece — that are available as vacation rentals, event venues and film shoot locations, with swimsuit models and jets.
In January, the company built on that business by launching an estate management group that takes care of homes for clients who are not doing short-term rentals.
“We basically do management for short-term (already), so we are doing the hardest part of the business,” Jabli said. “We have some other clients that say, ‘I’m tired of doing short term and want to do long term,’ and we pivot and do long-term management, which is way easier.”
Jabli, who was raised in Morocco, launched Nightfall Group in 2018 after building experience as an Airbnb Inc. host.
Before founding the company and after studying at UC Irvine, he had interned for a development construction company in Anaheim, where he said he earned $2,400 a month.
“It was really low considering the cost of living in California,” Jabli said. “I found myself stuck and had to come up with some ideas to make some extra money on the side.”
“That would potentially give me leverage to move on. I found someone who was interested in taking the apartment for one month, so I moved out and was living in my car for one month while people were in the apartment,” he said.
In addition to making money, Jabli said, he enjoyed meeting new people.
Flash forward to today, and Jabli said Nightfall Group manages a portfolio of $300 million worth of real estate and has a staff of 12.
As a management company, Nightfall Group offers services like high-end private car rentals and private jet and yacht charters. It will also book chefs or butlers and set up spa services and personal trainers.
“We do more in the high-end market, the luxury market and do masterpieces. We are looking at exclusive, high-end types of homes,” Jabli said.
Occasionally, Nightfall Group will do a master lease, and sometimes it will even purchase a property.
Most of the homes it manages are in Beverly Hills, Malibu and Bel Air, but Jabli said Nightfall Group has homes in other cities and countries.
And it still uses Airbnb.
Its current listings include a five-bedroom, five-bath “contemporary compound” in the hills above the Sunset Strip that rents for $2,000 nightly. Another one of its listings, in the Hollywood Hills, accommodates eight guests and requires a $3,000 cash deposit, plus a nightly rate of $2,900.
And it has lofty ambitions for the future.
“(We are) looking to expand and potentially open new branches of the company all over the world,” Jabli said.
Nightfall Group Grows High-End Rental Business From Humble Origins