John Burns Real Estate Consulting and Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors announced today that they have joined forces, forming a partnership that John Burns and Tim Sullivan, the two principals and friends, have been talking about creating for 14 years.

The move combines John Burns Real Estate Consulting's 22 employees with the Sullivan Group's eight under the JBREC name. The transaction was private, and no details about the agreement's terms were released.

"There were two big reasons to do this," said Tim Sullivan, who was president of the Sullivan Group and will be a principal at JBREC. "It's a tougher market, but the first [reason] is we are better together than we are separate. It really is a case where one plus one equals three."

The addition of the Sullivan Group, which primarily focused on consulting, doubles the size of JBREC's consulting arm. "He'll take us to the next level consulting-wise," said CEO Burns.

Meanwhile, Sullivan's company lacked the research strength that Burns' company is best known for. "John gives us a platform of national research that we didn't have on our own," said Sullivan.

Burns and Sullivan worked together at KPMG and then at the Meyers Group. They went into business for themselves within a year of each other, and over the years they regularly talked about forming a business together.

"We always saw that we were complementary, both in our personalities and our skill sets," said Sullivan.

"It's taken us 14 years to pull this off," added Burns.

Sometimes the same clients called each for advice since both nationwide companies operated in the same space. However, when the pair combined Rolodexes, they found less overlap than they expected.

"It was amazing to note that the overlap wasn't nearly as significant as we imagined," said Burns. "It gave us comfort that we were making an accretive move."

In late 2008, two other real estate advisory companies with complementary skills joined forces as well. Zelman and Associates and Meyers Builder Advisors operate as separate companies but refer clients to each other. Zelman specializes in macro market information, while Meyers handles micro market specific details.