I get a better ROI with real estate but it is time intensive. Stocks take very little time but the ROI can vary wildly. Also, during a recession, the value of stocks can plummet but with real estate your rent should never go down. What is a good strategy to take advantage of both?
with real estate your rent should never go down.
Well, you could keep your retla rate constant, but you can absolutely lose rental income if you have renters fail to pay (or break their lease) or the house goes unrented for long periods because your rent is too high.
Plus you can have unexpected expenses that can lower returns, and even cost you more than you're bringing in, akin to a "loss" in stocks.
I think you've hit the main points - real estate has higher return on average but takes more active work. You need to decide if you like being a landlord and the work is worth the extra return.
If you want to bet on the market for renting real estate while avoiding all the work of being a landlord, then you can invest into a Real Estate Investment Trust or a Real Estate Fund.
This way you are not buying one real estate property. You are buying shares in a portfolio of real estate properties. Those properties are managed by a company which takes care of all the landlord stuff. You and the other investors receive the revenues from the rent, minus the cost for management and maintenance of the properties.