It may seem strange for a triple black belt martial arts expert to be speaking to a room of real estate agents, but it makes sense to Joe Rosner.

“I don’t know of any other legitimate business where you advertise where you’re going to be alone in an unlocked building for three hours,” said Rosner, of Hebron in McHenry County.

Rosner, author of The Real Estate Safety Book, offers self-defense seminars to agents across the state, including recently to the Champaign County Association of Realtors. He says it’s a problem, citing a National Association of Realtors report where one out of four agents said they were attacked or threatened on the job.

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“Probably the most important thing I teach in my seminars,” Rosner said, “is some real simple, easy ways to use your own intuition to recognize dangerous people and dangerous situations.”

Among those tips are advising agents not to go to open houses alone, and not to meet with a customer based off only a phone call.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio /