Owning rental real estate can be a smart approach to diversifying your investment portfolio and generating steady income. With most investments (stocks, art, jewelry, bitcoin, etc.), you buy something hoping it will appreciate in value so that it can later be sold for a profit. With rental homes, by generating positive cash flow through rental income, you profit regardless of whether you later sell the profit for a profit (or not).
Housing is a persistent need (people will always need a place to live), which makes it one of the most stable types of real estate investments available.