One way is to think of a REIT as a fully managed portfolio of real estate investments. Risks and returns are averaged across the real estate portfolio and managed by experts, possibly industry leading experts. REITs have a well documented track record you can research - most individuals do not. Many individuals have learned a hard lesson or two while attempting to generate passive income with real estate.
Conversely, some people derive a great deal of satisfaction from owning real estate and have a true passion to do so. Plus, if you are expecting interest rates to raise and/or rate of inflation to increase in the next 30 years, you may benefit from the financing aspects of the investment as well. There are some regions/ opportunities that seem to do better than the average REIT a majority of the time, but may not be desirable to you or fit into your budget for various reasons.
I'm not sure what your level of experience, knowledge or financial situation , but for everyone considering, there are many additional things to know about investment property compared to a primary residence. A good place to start with REITs is the prospectus of one that interests you. Research their holdings, create a model, or otherwise make a connection with the REIT before clicking buy.