Unlike tech, you will not have a giant windfall with real estate; but also unlike tech, it's very easy to price your product, find customers, and figure out what your cashflow will be for years to come.
There are easier ways to live rent-free, unless, as I say, you have the personal skills to ride herd on grown children or if you are lucky enough to own your property in an area where normal people rent, and you can find good tenants on a regular basis.
I suggest rephrasing to
>Unlike most occupations, landlording may bring you into...
I've had a rental property now for many years. It's in an evolving, urban Boston neighborhood and the property generates ~$1000 more than the mortgage, taxes and insurance per month. I have 5 tenants who are all recent college grads. My agent did credit checks on all of the original tenants and many new ones have cycled through over the years. Aside from replacing a couple of appliances (which consisted of ordering them online and coordinating delivery with a tenant) I've had zero issues. In fact, the last 3 years, I've given each tenant $100 off of December's rent to let them know I like having them as tenants. I have about $80,000 out of pocket invested so without even considering the equity I'm building in the house, I'm getting around a 15% rate of return (granted at a higher tax rate that a capital gains...)
My parents have a small, older rental house that they charge less than market rate for, as they have never increased the rent for the current tenant who has lived there for several years. They have had renters trash the place before, and they know getting a little less from a good renter is a preferred scenario.
I actually had a year and a half with zero income from a house. None.
2. Do a thorough background check. (Wait for a quality tenant.)
3. Make repairs asap.
4. Be firm, fair and friendly.
These things can eliminate 80% of the problems landlords have.
No, I don't have citations, but I have been a landlord and know many others who are/have.
A stock index fund. :-) Usually much less yield for your money, though.