The benefit of holding REITs in your portfolio is twofold. First, like regular stocks, REITs have the potential to gain value over time -- especially if you do a good job of choosing quality businesses.

Furthermore, REITs are actually required to pay out 90% of their income as dividends to shareholders. As such, you'll often find that REITs pay a higher dividend than your average stock.

But that's not true across the board. While some REITs have a dividend yield of 5% or more, other REITs are a bit more stingy in the dividend department. These three REITs don't pay the highest dividends -- but they're worth owning regardless.

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1. Prologis

Prologis (PLD -0.05%) is the largest REIT within the industrial sector. And while its share price is down around 28% year to date, shares are still up roughly 114% over the past five years.

But with a dividend yield of 2.65%, Prologis isn't going to win an award for most generous dividend anytime soon. In spite of that, it's still a company worth owning.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive uptick in e-commerce, and now, digital sales are booming. That's a trend that's likely to continue for many years to come. And so investing in a large industrial REIT like Prologis is a solid bet, because demand for warehousing space is only like to soar.

Furthermore, industrial REITs like Prologis tend to enjoy the benefit of stable income thanks to the long-term leasing agreements they commonly sign with tenants. And that's important as financial experts warn of a potential recession that could hit in the not-so-distant future.

2. Public Storage

The pandemic may have changed the way consumers shop, but it also changed the way consumers live and work. Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of remote work, many people are reassessing their living situations and relying on self-storage to keep their belongings secure.

As the largest operator of self-storage facilities, Public Storage (PSA 0.34%) only stands to benefit from that. And while it only offers a 2.58% dividend yield, a big part of what makes it a buy is that it's a fairly recession-proof business.

Granted, unlike industrial leases, self-storage leases tend to be short-term in nature, which means they're easy to break during periods of economic unrest. But self-storage is also fairly inexpensive, which means consumers are likely to keep paying even if economic conditions take a turn for the worse.

3. American Tower

Shares of American Tower (AMT -0.55%), a major infrastructure REIT, are down over 16% year to date. And with a dividend yield of 2.39%, it's easy to score higher dividends elsewhere.

But as more and more carriers expand their 5G networks, the demand for cell towers is apt to increase. And American Tower is poised to benefit from that rollout. Furthermore, companies like American Tower can commonly lock tenants into longer-term leases, so even if economic conditions sour, the company shouldn't be starved for revenue.

Don't just chase high dividend yields

Many investors do their best to secure a steady stream of dividend income, and there's nothing wrong with that. But dividend yields aren't the only thing to look at when loading up your portfolio. Rather, it's important to focus on quality businesses with solid growth potential. And despite their modest dividends, these three REITs fit the bill.