You are bang on with everything here. To be clear although this might have seemed like a negative article on real estate, I do love it as an asset class. But as you point out it’s more of a job than an investment.
The problem is many people don’t see it that way. I know people who can’t manage their credit cards that tell me they want to invest in real estate.
Also, I agree on the REITs it is a fine way to invest passively in real estate and also solve the issue of diversification in real estate investing.