KITCHENER -- Real estate is considered an essential business by the Ontario government during the COVID-19 pandemic and many people are buying or selling their home while practicing physical distancing.

This has forced real estate agents to come up with creative solutions when it comes to many aspects of their job.

“If someone is really interested there are a lot of virtual showings that we can do. There are virtual open houses,” say Royal LePage sales representative Shawn Ramautour.

He is also changing his showing style and the way he negotiates.

“Let’s say someone does want to put an offer in, we can make it conditional on the viewing of the property after,” he says.

The Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors is hoping other agents act the same way Ramautour does.

“We certainly can’t mandate these things to our members. We can just, you know, put the word out and make strong strong recommendations,” says their President Colleen Koehler.

They are urging realtors to stop face-to-face business, including open houses.

Many realtors have told CTV News they are asking clients to wait if they can.

According to the KWAR, new listings are down by almost forty per cent from this day last year.